Adam O’Brien slammed for press conference quotes: Newcastle Knights vs Bulldogs
Newcastle manager Adam O’Brien has come under fire for his comments at a press conference after the Knights suffered yet another defeat.
The Bulldogs defeated O’Brien’s troops 24-10 on Sunday – their 14th loss of the season, which leaves them in 14th place.
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The year started on a high note for Newcastle, who won their first two games, but since then the descent has been down and O’Brien knows the club face a long road to get back anywhere near the Mountain peak.
The 44-year-old was an assistant coach at Melbourne and the Roosters when they made it to the grand final, but he’s not enjoying the same success with the Knights.
“It’s hard for me too,” O’Brien said in his post-match press conference. “Before getting this job here, I played in four Grand Finals.
“I know how these teams have prepared. I know the systems they used defensively.
“You don’t unlearn this knowledge. Applying and anchoring it will clearly take time.
“Week to week we can talk about one area of this defense and we can fix it in seven days, but then we’ll drop another area of our defense.
“It’s going to take a little while and I know some people don’t want to wait that long, but it is.
“I’ve seen how the teams prepare in these four grand finals. How the players behaved. How the club prepares. How it works.
“I’ve seen it all and haven’t unlearned it, but it’s going to take time.”
Referencing his own exploits as an assistant coach didn’t sit well with everyone, as some footy pundits called O’Brien.
The Daily Telegraph Phil Rothfield addressed the presser on the radio Monday morning.
Rothfield has suggested that if results do not improve by a third next season, O’Brien’s job could be in jeopardy.
“He said after the game, ‘Well, I’ve been to four Grand Finals.’ That was as an assistant coach. He’s basically saying, ‘I’m not the problem’,” Rothfield told the Big sports breakfast.
“When you’re a team, I think it’s one in, everything. You don’t start playing blame games like that. I just thought that was a silly thing to say and they’ve been terrible the past few weeks.
“Adam O’Brien was talking about himself yesterday… just because you come out of a good system doesn’t mean you have what it takes and some guys are good assistant coaches and some guys are good head coaches.
“Hopefully they give him a bit more time, the rest of this season and a rebuild alongside (incoming director of football) Peter Parr but damn it, to let go of guys like (Zac) Hosking and (Jacob ) Kiraz, who weren’t ‘Even with $100,000, they really have to sort out the ways.
Rugby league journalist Tony Adams tweeted of O’Brien: “Now he’s throwing his own players under the bus – ‘It’s not me, it’s them’.”
Newcastle will likely be without superstar full-back Kalyn Ponga for the rest of the season due to his latest concussion, and the heat is on the rest of the Knights players to show some combat as the 2022 season draws to a close, even if they are out of contention in the final.
“We have the right people at work. We just need to have a plan and we need to pull through and hopefully look at this season as a year that has helped us grow,” O’Brien said.
“If we had reached the final this year, it would have put a bandage on a problem that is still there.
“We have to stick together and get through this.”