Henjak won't be sacked, says Cullen - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Henjak won't be sacked, says Cullen

02/08/2009 05:33:02 PM Comments (0)

Brisbane chief executive Bruno Cullen says under siege coach Ivan Henjak has his unconditional support - right through to 2010 - despite the Broncos' embarrassing 56-0 loss to Canberra on Saturday night.

Cullen said he had "100 per cent confidence" in Henjak who, along with the players, refused to speak to the media on Sunday when they touched down at Brisbane Airport.

"He's safe as bank," Cullen told AAP on Sunday.

"He hates me saying me that because of the old adage that once the board says `you've got my support' then you're gone.

"But if I didn't say something, people would be up me as well.

"I'm a straight shooter and he's got our 100 per cent support for not just this year but next year as well."

Saturday night's humiliating loss in the nation's capital was the worst defeat in the club's history.

It's one of Brisbane's darkest periods since they entered the competition in 1988, having lost seven of their last eight games and conceding 307 points.

They are expected to have to win four of their five remaining matches to avoid missing the finals for the first time in 18 years.

Cullen cut a forlorn figure as he sat alone in the Canberra Stadium grandstand watching the Broncos, lacking any steel in defence and insipid in attack in a 10 try demolition.

"I couldn't believe it was unfolding in front of me," the Broncos boss remarked.

"I was actually sitting in the grandstand by myself. It was a very lonely, hard night.

"It's just not acceptable to roll over the way they did.

"It's bad but we just have to keep working on it. We're not talking about crucifying anyone because of it, including Ivan."

Cullen said he felt sorry for Henjak, believing he was "on a hiding to nothing" when he replaced guru Wayne Bennett as head coach at the start of this season.

"People were always going to compare, which is very unfair," said Cullen.

A dejected Henjak, contracted to the end of 2010, spoke briefly to ABC Radio after arriving home and made a point of thanking the panel for going easy on him.

He was asked whether he was feeling the heat in the midst of Brisbane's slump.

"You feel the pressure every week in this position but certainly when you're in the rut that we're in and the points that are getting put on us at the moment, it's certainly tough," he said.

"We've got no other option but to keep ploughing forward."

On Sunday Henjak repeated his apology - first made at the post-match press conference - to the club's past players, sponsors and fans for the "ordinary performance".

But former Broncos great Trevor Gillmeister said it was unnecessary.

"I don't think he has to say that," said Gillmeister.

"The coach doesn't miss the tackles and drop the ball.

"He must be hurting to be saying stuff like that and hopefully the players are hurting as much as he is."

Brisbane's injured trio Peter Wallace, Sam Thaiday and Nick Kenny should all be available for next Monday night's clash with fellow strugglers Cronulla at Suncorp Stadium.

But Cullen said a near full-strength side would not make a difference unless the players changed their attitude.

"I'm sure they'll be determined," he said.

"I'd be very disappointed if all the players weren't slightly ashamed about their performance last night."

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