Panthers boss demands more - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Panthers boss demands more

By David Beniuk 14/03/2011 07:08:31 PM Comments (0)

Penrith's embarrassed players and coach Matthew Elliott have received a thinly veiled warning from club boss Michael Leary as they prepare to face bitter NRL rivals Parramatta.

The Panthers became the season's first club under siege after their inept 2011 opening effort in Sunday's 42-8 home loss to Newcastle.

With Elliott firming with bookmakers as the coach most likely to be the first sacked this season, a tight-lipped Leary refused to comment on the chances of the off-contract mentor's deal being extended beyond this year.

But Leary did up the pressure ahead of Friday night's derby at Parramatta Stadium.

"I think it's all been said in the papers," Leary told AAP.

"We've just got to move on and see if we get an improved performance next Friday night.

"That's about all I want to say about it."

Elliott shot in from $13 and fifth place to be just $4 and first in the line of fire with one betting agency, ahead of North Queensland's Neil Henry ($6) and South Sydney's John Lang ($10).

Commentators have been lining up to write off Penrith's chances in 2011, despite them finishing second in the regular season last year.

Punters have followed suit, making the Panthers second-last in betting for the premiership at $34 - behind only Cronulla.

Leary said he had spoken to some of the Panthers players about the insipid performance.

"The players have been in, they've had their rehab, but we'll leave it as it is at the moment," he said.

"I've spoken to a lot of the players, yes, but we'll move on to Friday night."

Panthers fans will be sweating on the expected signing of controversial dual international Timana Tahu this week.

Tahu will reportedly meet with the teenager he is alleged to have racially abused on Wednesday after being told a contract won't be registered by the NRL until that matter has been dealt with.

But Panthers grand final hero Scott Sattler warned Tahu needed to have the right motivations if he was to be a success at the club.

"It's not about Timana Tahu as a player ... on the field he's great," Sattler told AAP.

"It's about whether Timana Tahu off the field is consistent and making sure that what he's doing he's doing it for the right reasons.

"Timana's got to be doing it because he's got a passion for the game and generally for himself.

"If Timana's willing to do that I think he'd be an extremely valuable buy.

"To be able to add another strike weapon like they have with (Lachlan) Coote and (Michael) Jennings and Michael Gordon and Luke Lewis, I think that Penrith have got to do it."

Sattler said all was not lost after one defeat.

"It's not something that Matty Elliott's going to come up with, it's something the players have got to come up with, why they were at the levels of energy they were because you don't need any more motivation than round one of the NRL," he said.

"In 2003, when we won the premiership, we got beaten by the Broncos and got smashed by Melbourne the week after and we were favourites to win the wooden spoon."

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