Panthers coach not feeling NRL pressure - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Panthers coach not feeling NRL pressure

By Liam Fitzgibbon 08/03/2009 07:55:39 PM Comments (0)

The axe may still be hovering over his head but Penrith coach Matthew Elliott insists he isn't even thinking about pressure heading into the start of the NRL season.

Elliott looked certain to be sacked last September as the Panthers faded to finish 12th, but he avoided the chop at a meeting with the club's board, allowing him to continue into the third and final year of his contract.

With reports his position will be reviewed just 10 rounds into this year's season, Elliott is still a man under pressure, but you wouldn't know if from talking to him.

"The use of the word pressure and all that stuff is something that never comes from me," Elliott said.

"It's not something that I'm concerned about at all.

"I've really enjoyed the players through the pre-season, we've got a great bunch of people here and I just want to be a contributing factor to them playing good football.

"My actual personal circumstances, I don't really think about other than when I have to answer that question."

And Elliott said it wasn't simply a case of putting on a brave face.

"People just think I'm coming up and sort of showing some false bravado but I don't know how to be honest about it other than to say it just doesn't bother me," he said.

"I could worry about the Middle East crisis too, but I'm growing old at my own rate and I don't really need to accelerate that by worrying about things that are outside my control.

"What I can control is how I coach the team so I'm really not worried about it at all."

Elliott was positive about the Panthers' prospects in 2009 ahead of their opening match against Cronulla at Toyota Stadium on Saturday.

He is most excited about seeing promising youngsters including Michael Jennings, Lachlan Coote and Wade Graham blossom further after blooding a host of new talent in his two years at the club.

"In the last couple of years there's nearly 18 guys we've given debuts to and obviously we've retained most of those guys so it'd be nice to see the fruit of that sort of approach come to bear," Elliott said.

"We know how talented these kids are, they've come through the junior grades winning together so by keeping them together we'll give ourselves an opportunity."

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