Nathan Brown appears to have taken a shot at Wayne Bennett while confirming his departure from the Newcastle Knights on Wednesday.
Brown concedes he made a difficult decision easy for Newcastle when he fell on his sword and quit as Knights coach from the end of this NRL season.
Still in contention to make this year's finals, Brown insisted his decision was about the long-term stability of a Knights side he sees as premiership ready.
“There’ll always be jobs for people like me because there’s plenty of selfish coaches who make short-term decisions and ruin footy clubs,” he said.
“There’ll be another club that will have an old roster that’s been ruined and someone will get me to come in and try and fix it up, because that’s the job that I do.”
Brown took over at Newcastle in 2016 after Bennett was in charge from 2012-14.
Bennett led the Knights to an unlikely preliminary final appearance in 2013, before leaving to rejoin Brisbane and taking a number of players with him.
Brown was left to clean up the mess, suffering through the last two of three-straight wooden spoon finishes.
Brown also departed when Bennett was signed to coach the Dragons in 2009.
The Dragons won the premiership in 2010 but didn’t make the finals again until 2016 when Bennett left at the end of the 2011 season.
Brown considered quitting earlier in 2019
Brown also revealed he'd been considering quitting since midway through the year, after coming to the realisation he was not the coach to take the club forward - despite having turned them around from the mess he walked into on his arrival in late 2015.
"I made a hard decision very easy for the boss. I knew the time was right, he knew the time was right," Brown said.
"This is about stability for the Knights and the people of Newcastle. They deserve a footy team that is going to play in grand finals.
"The club needs someone the boss is very comfortable for me to move forward with.
"We don't need someone leaning over my shoulder early next year because we have lost two or three games."
Brown's job security has been an off-again, on-again story of 2019, given the club have had two long losing streaks punctuated by a mid-season run of six straight wins.
His future would likely been again the subject of an annual review at the end of this season, with his self-made supercharged roster fighting for a finals spot.
However, his decision to hand his resignation to Knights CEO Philip Gardner took that out of the club's hands, and allowed them to install a new coach before the pre-season.
Regardless though, Brown insisted he had not received a tap on the shoulder.
"It's not about being sacked or being pushed and jumped before you pushed. It's about what is right," he said.
"When I first came to the club, I said to my wife we will run last for the first two years and the reality of it is the fairytale won't be me.
"That's just the nature of the job."