Barrett adamant no power struggle at Dogs

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

A defiant Trent Barrett has denied claims he is being undermined by Canterbury supremo Phil Gould, declaring his players know who the coach is.

Barrett has found himself under siege after it emerged Gould had taken a field and video session this week, as the Bulldogs look to avoid seven straight NRL losses on Saturday against the Sydney Roosters.

It also prompted concerns that power was being taken away from Barrett, with Gould having previously removed coaches at both Penrith and the Roosters.

But Barrett was insistent on Thursday that he had been the one to invite Gould in, and that it was not the first time the Bulldogs head of football had taken video or on-field sessions.

"It was my idea that he was on there," Barrett said.

"He certainly does not undermine me in anything I do here. If anything he is here to help.

"Why wouldn't I use the resource of Phil Gould at the club?

"He is the GM of football, he is a very good premiership-winning coach.

"He is here to help and we're in it together ... It's been blown into something that wasn't an issue."

Barrett also insisted that the situation was no different to what he saw as an assistant at Penrith, where Gould would often take a hands-on approach.

The concern for Barrett though is that Gould also sacked two coaches in his eight years at the Panthers, including Ivan Cleary because he was tired and Anthony Griffin while on the verge of the top four.

But Barrett was adamant he was not having his power diminished or that his job was in jeopardy.

"No way (is it being diminished). The boys know who the coach is," Barrett said.

"Gus doesn't interfere with any tactical things. He will give an opinion and give an opinion to me. We speak regularly. That's his job.

"If I think a different voice can help the team at a certain stage, why wouldn't I? I'd be silly not to.

"I have someone like (former All Blacks coach) Steve Hansen here who will be back from Japan in a few months. He's a resource we have and I'm going to use him."

Gould himself has long been a defender of Barrett, with external pressure mounting.

Barrett has won just 12.9 per cent of games in his one-and-a-bit years in charge of the Bulldogs, while a loss this weekend would make his strike-rate the equal-lowest in the club's history.

Canterbury could also still face more hurdles before Saturday, with captain Josh Jackson out with COVID and the four players who contracted it last week still needing clearance to play.

Jake Averillo, Brent Naden and Ava Seumanufagai have all been named, but will need to pass blood tests and on-field checks before returning.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting