Bulldogs coach Trent Barrett has declared “the boys know who the coach is” after Phil Gould took over a training session on Tuesday.
Speaking to the media on Thursday, Barrett was grilled on the issue but made it clear that Gould’s video and training stint was his own idea and that it wasn’t the first time Gus had been involved in midweek practice.
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“It was my idea that he was on there,” Barrett said.
“He certainly does not undermine me in anything I do here. If anything he is here to help.
“Why wouldn’t I use the resource of Phil Gould at the club?
“He is the GM of football, he is a very good premiership-winning coach.
“He is here to help and we’re in it together … It’s been blown into something that wasn’t an issue.”
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Barrett explained that during his time as assistant coach at the Panthers, Gould would also spend time training the team.
But Gould’s hands-on approach led to the sacking of Ivan Cleary and Anthony Griffin during his eight year tenure, the latter only four weeks out from the 2018 finals campaign.
Barrett maintained that his “power” within the club wasn’t diminished by the session.
“The boys know who the coach is,” Barrett said.
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“Gus doesn’t interfere with any tactical things. He will give an opinion and give an opinion to me. We speak regularly. That’s his job.
“If I think a different voice can help the team at a certain stage, why wouldn’t I? I’d be silly not to.
“I have someone like (former All Blacks coach) Steve Hansen here who will be back from Japan in a few months. He’s a resource we have and I’m going to use him.”
If the Bulldogs lose in Round 8 against the Roosters, Barrett’s winning record in his tenure as coach will equal the lowest ever, having a current win rate of only 12.9 per cent.