Knights confident of seeing out contract - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Knights confident of seeing out contract

By John Salvado 19/08/2010 01:58:42 PM Comments (0)

Under-pressure Matthew Knights is confident he will see out his full contract as Essendon coach, despite the possibility of club legend James Hird taking over as soon as next AFL season.

Knights is contracted at the Bombers until the end of 2012, although there has been increasing disquiet in and around the club as they slumped out finals contention this year.

Hird has long been ambiguous about his possible coaching aspirations, but he fanned the flames earlier this week by saying he did want to coach Essendon at some stage.

Knights insisted on Thursday that Hird's comments did not make him fear for his own coaching future.

"The reality is that I've got a binding contract for the next two seasons," he said.

"I plan to honour that contract and stay the course and I'm solely committed to the players and the Essendon footy club.

"I'm looking forward to honouring that contract and seeing this course through.

"I believe we're on the right track.

"Yes, the last couple of weeks, we've despised losing and it's really painful.

"But it was only two or three weeks ago that we had a great win against St Kilda and the future was there for everyone to see."

The club will conduct a wide-ranging review of its football operations at the end of the season.

But Knights said he had full faith in club president David Evans - a close personal friend of Hird - CEO Ian Robson and the Essendon board.

"I thoroughly believe they have full faith in me moving forward," said Knights.

"They've given me no other reason to think otherwise."

Knight did admit that the coaching uncertainty was a distraction for the playing group ahead of Sunday's clash with Brisbane.

But he said he could not control what Hird - who holds a senior management position with sports marketing company Gemba - was thinking in regards to the Essendon coaching job.

"James Hird is a legend of the football club and I've always had a good rapport with James," said Knights.

"I don't know James' intentions in regards to life or coaching, that's James' business as far as I am concerned.

"What I can focus on is the team and the players and be totally committed to those guys."

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