Cleary set to be named new Tigers coach
Cleary set to be named new Tigers coach

Ivan Cleary is set to be the next coach of the Wests Tigers following the sacking of Jason Taylor on Monday.

A source with close ties to the club has told 7Sport that the Tigers are expected to announce the signing of the former Warriors and Panthers coach within the coming days.

The 46-year-old immediately became the front-runner for the vacant head coaching position after Taylor was sacked following his side's dismal performance against the Raiders on Sunday.

Former Tigers player and NYC coach Todd Payten has also been in the running, but it appears the club will go with the more experienced candidate.

Cleary all smiles during his Panthers coaching days. Pic: Getty

After being sacked by the Panthers in 2015, Cleary is currently a part-time consultant to the NRL's referees while also preparing to coach Lebanon's World Cup team.

Assistant Andrew Webster has taken over as the interim coach however it is unclear whether Cleary will take the reins in time for their round four clash with the Melbourne Storm on Sunday.

Following the sacking of Taylor, Tigers Chief executive Justin Pascoe said their last two losses were unacceptable following a five-year absence from the finals.

A forlorn-looking Taylor following loss to Raiders. Pic: Getty

"We're not going to sit here and allow this organisation to drift again," Pascoe said.

"And to miss out on finals, it's been since 2011, we're focussed and unapologetic that we're going to make those decisions."

It was just a fortnight ago that Pascoe said that Taylor's position was not under threat but a 46-6 loss to the Raiders and 36-2 defeat to the Panthers led him to question whether the coach had lost the playing group.

Payten during his time coaching the Tigers' NYC team. Pic: Getty

"And those two games were performances that were unacceptable to this organisation," Pascoe said.

"They showed to us that the improvement we had hoped for wasn't there."

The club also face an uphill battle to retain star players James Tedesco, Aaron Woods, Mitchell Moses and Luke Brooks.

Just last week captain Aaron Woods said he will delay signing a new contract until he knows who the club’s coach will be after 2017.

Taylor's departure will leave a sizeable hole in the joint venture's budget with the club forced to pay out the remainder of his contract.

They are also paying a portion of Robbie Farah's and Curtis Sironen's salaries despite the players having moved to South Sydney and Manly respectively this season.

With AAP

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