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Fittler vows to return Roosters to form

By Ian McCullough 29/05/2009 05:49:29 PM Comments (0)

Sydney Roosters coach Brad Fittler has vowed to turn around the fortunes of his NRL strugglers and ease the pressure on himself in the process following a wretched start to the season.

The former Test and NSW five-eighth's future at the club has come under intense scrutiny after the Roosters' 48-6 mauling by Penrith last Saturday - the team's fourth successive defeat.

Roosters chairman Nick Politis has also refused to guarantee Fittler will be kept on when his contract expires at the end of the year.

And with reports of a player revolt following the coach's disastrous decision to play Braith Anasta at fullback against the Panthers, the heat has really been on Fittler this week.

Politis is notoriously impatient when it comes to failing coaches with Fittler's predecessors Graeme Murray, Ricky Stuart and Chris Anderson all shown the door after a bad run of results.

And with the Roosters languishing in second-last place on the ladder, the knives have been sharpened for a coach who could do no wrong this time last year when his side sat on top of the ladder following a fine 32-10 win over Parramatta with an Origin-depleted side.

Fittler had a frank, clear-the-air meeting with his players on Wednesday and insisted he had no intention of walking away and had the backing of his players.

"The facts are, I have the players' support and I won't be quitting," Fittler said.

"It was the players that came forward, it was a pretty strong sign from the playing group ... they have made me aware of a few things where I am falling short."

The Roosters have a bye this weekend and Fittler said the break could not have come at a better time.

"Considering where we are it is a good time to take a breath this week and then come back on Monday and prepare to face Manly," he said.

"Footy is a tough world, coaching is a tough gig ... if we don't get results then we are all under pressure."

Fittler maintained his side has not become a bad team, despite a shocking start to the season, but a lack of fight and confidence is the main reason for the current predicament.

"There is a lot of things you can do to help confidence ... but confidence is something that comes with a win and you don't always know what it is ... but we are looking for it," he said.

Fittler also admitted that he and the players are playing for their futures but said that should not act as their biggest motivational factor.

"Some blokes are out of contract, but playing week-in week-out you want respect, and you want to play in a good club and you want to make your club good, so from that point of view we have to fight a bit harder - the lot of us."

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