McGregor knows wins must come at Dragons

Scott Bailey
Only results can save Dragons coach Paul McGregor, who says he has been battered by the media

Paul McGregor has not sought assurances from St George Illawarra powerbrokers over his future but knows only wins can silence the critics.

The under-fire coach has done his best to avoid speculation over his job this week, ahead of Monday's crunch clash with Canterbury.

Unlike equally under-pressure counterpart Dean Pay, McGregor still has one more year left to run on his deal but is feeling the heat after a 0-3 start to season.

But the next two games against Canterbury and Cronulla are expected to be crucial to his future, ahead of the next Dragons' board meeting on June 16.

"There has been no internal conversation about anything about myself," McGregor said.

"I need to get results. It's a high-performance sport. And if you're not winning games in professional sport you under scrutiny.

"I've obviously been battered a little bit through the press. But I've got good self awareness, I know where my control starts and finishes.

"I understand what I can control and can't. What I can is inside in preparing the players to play best and rectify what was a bad result last week."

The former Kangaroos centre has attempted to have his players avoid the public criticism of the team this week, after their lacklustre 18-0 loss to the Warriors.

He also insists he is happy with his roster and recruitment, albeit conceding Jack de Belin's absence has hurt their balance in the middle in recent years.

But he hasn't spared the team from some harsh realities.

Unhappy with the spine's performance for the opening three losses, he believes the inclusion of Adam Clune can free up Ben Hunt's running game at five-eighth.

Hunt came under intense criticism this week after he ran the ball just twice in 65 touches, while the move of Corey Norman to fullback should also do likewise.

However he insisted a successful Dragons team needed the pair in it, even if they were in altered roles.

"I haven't been happy with the combinations there at the moment so I made the change," McGregor said.

"They're going to play a different role for sure and it's about Ben getting his running game back with a No.7 that likes to control the game.

"That's what Adam does. He knows the game well and it frees Ben up to run.

"With Corey playing at fullback he will be in and around the ball in yardage and in transition, so it will be a good opportunity for him to be on the ball for most of the game."

McGregor also believes Issac Luke's addition to the bench can add some relief for Cameron McInnes, who got through a heap of work last week under the NRL's new rules.