Crows coach misunderstood, Burton says - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Crows coach misunderstood, Burton says

By Steve Larkin 20/04/2010 11:35:15 AM Comments (0)

Neil Craig is misunderstood: he's not a dull scientific boffin but a cheeky, funny man.

So says evergreen Adelaide Crow Brett "Birdman" Burton, who has leapt to the defence of his embattled coach.

Burton says it's unfair that Adelaide coach Craig is copping it from all quarters after overseeing four losses to start the AFL season.

The high-flying forward said Adelaide's players must take responsibility for the predicament, and rejected criticism of Craig's meticulous methods.

Burton said Craig, who holds a sports science degree, was not the intense scholarly figure he is often portrayed as.

"In terms of Neil's seriousness, that is what you guys see in the media and I guess that is what supporters see because Neil is very controlled, he's very professional," Burton said.

"But if you guys could step inside the four walls of this footy club, you would see that he's humorous, he's cheeky ... he is a great person to be around and he is fun and we find him enjoyable, so we don't see that as an issue.

"The scientific side, people keep drawing on that - it's an advantage for us, it's an advantage to have a senior coach that actually knows about the science of the game.

"His ability to be able to assess the game is so much better than some of the other guys because he's got that education.

"His knowledge of the game is just as good as anyone else's so you can cross that one off as well."

Burton said Craig's game plan was proven last season when the Crows finished fifth.

"There is nothing wrong with the game plan, I don't think we have changed a lot since last year," he said.

"Let's (players) get out our backyard right first, let's stop fumbling the footy, let's start hitting kicks and the game plan might work - we don't have a problem with the game plan.

"We showed to a high level last year that it can work, and we have got great belief that it can work again.

"But at the moment, we have got players in our group that aren't taking the ball cleanly, we're not hitting kicks so we can't judge the game plan when we are not doing the simple things."

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