Focused Roosters unconcerned about Dogs

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Trent Barrett and Kyle Flanagan are of no concern to Trent Robinson as the Sydney Roosters bid to find their mojo against the NRL's hapless wooden spooners on Saturday.

With a seventh straight defeat, Barrett would become, statistically at least, the worst-performing coach in Canterbury's 87-year history.

But Robinson heads to Accor Stadium with his own troubles after a deflating Anzac Day loss to St George Illawarra left the Roosters with a 4-3 start to 2022.

Trumpeted pre-season as genuine premiership contenders with a full-strength roster back on deck, the Roosters are treading water in sixth place with a misfiring attack and no Daniel Tupou after the winger copped a one-match ban for a high tackle.

No surprise then to see Robinson distance himself from Barrett's sorry plight after his coaching counterpart took a back seat as the Bulldogs' head of football Phil Gould ran training on Tuesday.

"That's not a question that needs to come my way," Robinson said when asked if he had any empathy for the besieged Barrett.

The three-time premiership-winning coach displayed the same ruthless manner when he dispatched Flanagan to the Bulldogs after just one season at Bondi Junction in 2020.

Tasked with rugby league's version of mission impossible, Flanagan was unable to fill the boots of master half Cooper Cronk and duly cut adrift by the Roosters.

The former Cronulla Shark has struggled to resurrect his career at Belmore, finding himself in and out of first grade under Barrett, but gets another crack in the No.7 jumper on Saturday.

Robinson says he's happy for the 23-year-old but made no secret his focus was on helping his own halfback find form after Luke Keary's inauspicious start to the season.

"He deserves to be in there and playing NRL, being an NRL player," Robinson said of Flanagan.

"The sub-plot for us has got nothing to do with the opposition, to be honest. I'm really happy for him when I'm watching him from afar.

"But for us, it didn't matter who we were going to play this weekend. We have our focus on what we want to do."

More desperate for two competition points than personal wins, Barrett said Flanagan's first meeting with the Roosters since being cruelly offloaded hadn't even been spoken about.

"I didn't know it was the first time he'll go up against them," he said.

"We haven't mentioned it, to be honest. It's about the team.

"I'm sure Kyle is excited about playing against his old club, everyone likes to do that."

Canterbury prop Tevita Pangai said Flanagan wasn't the only motivated player at the last-placed Bulldogs but hoped his halfback delivered.

"It's always good to go up against your old club and hopefully Kyle has a big one," Pangai said.

"I think we all have something to prove."

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