Senior players need to fire: Crows chief - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Senior players need to fire: Crows chief

By Steve Larkin 19/04/2010 07:37:06 PM Comments (0)

Adelaide's senior players, rather than coach Neil Craig, will be in the gun if the Crows' woes continue, the AFL club's chief executive says.

Dismissing calls for the sacking of coach Neil Craig as "pathetic", chief executive Steven Trigg says senior players will have their future examined should Adelaide's joyless season carry on.

Trigg on Monday felt compelled to support Craig after a "vitriolic" reaction to Adelaide's fourth consecutive loss, to Carlton on Saturday.

Craig was verbally abused by some fans after a match which left Adelaide winless from four games and their finals ambitions in tatters.

Trigg said Adelaide's board fully supported Craig, who is contracted until the end of next season.

"All my board want to do at the moment is say `how can we help', they are really calm," Trigg told reporters.

"I am not going to protect him to the extent that he is untouchable.

"A senior coach at the end of it will have the responsibility, but it's not just a him issue at the moment."

Trigg instead put the blowtorch on underperforming players, saying Adelaide would look to the future if the downward spiral continued to an extent where finals became impossible.

No club has lost their initial four games and made the finals since the introduction of the top eight system in 1994.

"We know that history tells us it's a tall order but where there is hope there is fight," Trigg said.

"Every senior player on our list will need to take responsibility from here on in.

"And they'll understand it - I promise you, they will understand it - in terms of what it means if they don't perform and we have to get to a position where we start preparing for next year in terms of our selection table stuff.

"The best thing is to reserve judgement on that and just see how we go.

"But there is a reality that the senior players, if we are without hope at any stage through the remainder of the season, and we start looking much more at 2011, then senior players will be the ones in the spotlight clearly.

"I can't tell you what time that is coming, it's certainly not at the moment with four months to go."

Trigg said the club was not embarrassed about publicly stating their top four aim, a goal now significantly downgraded.

"Our expectation is to fight week by week, I think that is the scenario we are in," he said.

"I honestly believe, that with four months and 18 games to go, that we should keep an ambition to play finals footy.

"I am still confidently saying it is a list that is capable of doing some really tremendous things. At the moment it's not, we understand that.

"We haven't lost faith in this playing group by any stretch of the imagination.

"A real test for them though is to get out of this pickle and I'm happy to say it publicly: we are putting it on the players.

"We are interested to see who is going to perform at the moment because when you are right up against the wall, the players who perform now get extra credit points."

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