Misfiring Warriors star Shaun Johnson has fired back at critics of Andrew McFadden, arguing that sacking the under-pressure coach won’t solve their NRL woes.
A frustrated Johnson also admitted he’s struggling with the ankle injury that prematurely ended last season and set the Warriors on their 11-game losing streak.
“I’ve made a full recovery in one sense, but have a bit to go in another,” he wrote in a column for FoxSports.
“I’m 100 per cent with the strength and it’s fully healed. It was tough at the time but looking back, that was the easy part of the recovery – the rehab side of things.
“Certainly mentally I’m not quite there yet.”
But it’s his vehement defence of McFadden that will be of most interest to those who are calling for the head of McFadden in a bid to arrest their worrying start to the season.
Having lost the final eight games of 2015, his star-studded roster have now flunked in their opening three games of the new year and sit second-last on the ladder, one spot above the Sydney Roosters.
Johnson subtly directed his angst at his own club, saying the constant firing of coaches in his career hasn’t helped him or the team flourish on the field.
“Plenty has been made of the high turnover when it comes to the men in charge at the Warriors – and 10 coaches in 21 years doesn’t read well,” he said.
“Frankly it’s been ridiculous how many coaches we’ve gone through. It certainly doesn’t help as a playmaker when you’re adapting to a new style of play, something I’ve had now with four coaches in five years of first grade.”
Johnson said the players needed to take responsibility for the club’s continued underachievement.
“We know we haven’t helped them out too much, and that’s been reflected in our performances … Talk of Cappy (McFadden) being moved on isn’t the answer,” he said.
The Warriors get the chance to break their win drought when they face Newcastle in Auckland on Easter Monday.