Pascoe defends Tigers after Taylor sacking
Pascoe defends Tigers after Taylor sacking

The Wests Tigers have defended themselves against accusations of a poor culture and mismanagement in the wake of coach Jason Taylor's sacking.

Former Penrith and Warriors coach Ivan Cleary has emerged as the early favourite to take over the role full-time while the club's assistant coach Andrew Webster will fill the vacancy in the interim.

Taylor's exit raises questions as to why the club did not have an established coach ready to take over but Tigers chief Pascoe said he was comfortable with their decision.

"We'll go through a formal process to appoint another coach," Pascoe said.

Pascoe defends Tigers culture. Pic: AAP

"We're very comfortable with Andrew Webster to fulfil the obligations of an interim coach. But we'll follow a formal process and appoint the right coach at the right time."

The club's football committee - which consists of Pascoe, general manager of football Kelly Egan and two directors - will decide its next coach with Cleary in the running with North Queensland assistant and former Tigers under-20s coach Todd Payten.

Taylor is believed to have been the victim of player power with Pascoe acknowledging he had lost the dressing room.

His sacking - the first this season - caps a disastrous period for the club. Centre Tim Simona had his registration cancelled earlier this month after it was revealed he had bet on rival players and teams.

He then alleged that he had abused cocaine throughout his career, a habit which began when he did drugs on a Mad Monday boat cruise three years ago.

The club has backed itself into a corner with the Tigers' four biggest names - Aaron Woods, James Tedesco, Luke Brooks and Mitchell Moses - all off-contract at the end of the year.

It puts the quartet in a strong bargaining position and the Tigers will struggle to upgrade all four at the same time - something Pascoe admitted was a misstep.

"Ideally we don't want to have four players coming off contract that are in the prime of their career, 100 per cent," he said.

Asked if they could re-sign the quartet without having a coach locked in, Pascoe said: "I believe we can."

Chairwoman Marina Go is now under pressure, with club great Benny Elias calling for her to be sacked and former teammate and ARL Commissioner Wayne Pearce to be installed.

Pascoe reiterated the club's refusal to investigate suggestions made by Simona he had done drugs with teammates on an end-of-year celebration.

"The players aren't comfortable with what Tim said and that's a conversation to have with Tim," he said.

"As a club we can only deal with what we deal with, we're moving towards out culture being a winning culture."

"That's speculation from a player three years ago from a player that's no longer with this club."

AAP

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