'Telling lies': Stunning claims against Gus Gould over Bulldogs drama
NRL 360 host Braith Anasta has accused Gus Gould of stretching the truth about recently departed Bulldogs coach Trent Barrett after he quit following Round 10.
After the Bulldogs crashed to a 2-8 record through the first 10 games of the season last weekend,head coach Barrett opted to resign on Monday after it became clear he was unlikely to continue on in the role.
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An off-season headlined by several big name recruits has thus far amounted to little on field success, with Barrett's overall 5-34 record since taking over the Bulldogs in 2021 making his position at the club increasingly untenable.
He leaves the Bulldogs sitting on the bottom of the ladder after averaging fewer than 10 points per game this season.
However, the 44-year-old was a key part of a massive recruitment drive for the Bulldogs, with the future of star signings Matt Burton and Tevita Pangai Junior now reportedly up in the air.
Bulldogs football manager Gould recently said Barrett would be the 'long-term' football coach of the team - and will remain long after he leaves his role - on a Channel Nine footy show.
Gould and Barrett spent time together on the Gold Coast on Saturday before the coach picked up the phone the following day and said he could no longer continue in the role.
"I wasn't going to sack him," Gould said on Monday.
"I think the performances and pressure, he just got the feeling that he probably didn't have the solutions to what was going wrong.
"It was a very difficult discussion, it was very raw and he poured his heart out.
"He put his heart into this job and he wanted to end the speculation on the board to make any decision and he made the decision."
Braith Anasta questions Gus Gould's Barrett comment
However, former Roosters star Anasta has questioned whether Gould was not really going to push Barrett out the door from the struggling club.
Speaking on NRL 360, Anasta said Gould's words about Barrett being the long-term coach haven't gone down well.
“Well, you’re not laughing now Phil after saying that only a couple of weeks ago,” Anasta said on Fox Sports' NRL 360.
“That’s Pinocchio there. Saying that his job is safe and that he’s going to be there long after Gus. He’s telling lies because Barrett’s gone and he’s still there.”
Anasta also added that he didn't believe it was Barrett's decision to 'quit' after a board meeting was called at the Bulldogs without the coach's knowledge, according to reports.
“It squashes the ‘I’m going to quit’ thing too because he didn’t even know he was going to get the chop,” Anasta added.
Gould said he wouldn't be stepping into the role and explained one of the club's existing coaches would take charge in Friday night's match against the Tigers.
Former Canberra coach David Furner has been working as Barrett's assistant and Mick Potter is the club's NSW Cup coach.
Beyond that Gould said the picture was unclear.
The Dogs could recruit an unattached coach immediately or stick with an internal hire until the end of the season.
Shane Flanagan, whose son Kyle is on the Bulldogs' books, and former North Queensland coach Paul Green are both free agents.
Penrith assistant coach Cameron Ciraldo is the most likely candidate but the Panthers will put up a fight to prevent him leaving mid-season.
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