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Roosters backing under-fire coach Smith

By Ian McCullough 06/07/2011 03:42:22 PM Comments (0)

Sydney Roosters chief executive Steve Noyce has given a vote of confidence to Brian Smith, insisting the under-fire coach will see out his four-year contract with the NRL club.

The Roosters are in danger of going from grand finalists to picking up their second wooden spoon in three years, having won just two of their past 11 games and slumping to second-last on the ladder.

Smith's side have also failed to rack up more than 13 points in a game since round four.

They are also the lowest scorers in the NRL, despite possessing a star-studded backline including Dally M Medallist Todd Carney, NSW pair Mitchell Pearce and Anthony Minichiello and Kiwi Test centre Shaun Kenny-Dowall.

The Roosters were booed off by their fans following Monday's 38-12 thumping by Canberra, and defeat at home to Penrith on Sunday could see them slip to last place on the table.

However, Noyce scotched rumours Roosters chairman Nick Politis was flying back from Greece to hold crisis talks with Smith, saying they were nothing more than an "April fools joke" and that the veteran coach was not the only person feeling the heat.

"The buck doesn't stop just with the coach, it stops with all of us, me, the players, all of us are included, but that's OK, it's what professional sport is all about," Noyce told AAP.

"We need to work together, support each other, work hard, work smart and turn this thing around."

Despite fielding nine of the 17 players that played in last year's grand final on Monday, Smith said inexperience was a major reason for their season of woe - a claim backed up by Noyce.

"It is a sweeping statement to say it's the same side that reached the grand final, for large parts of this season it hasn't been the same team," he said.

"We have to be careful about making excuses, the facts are that we are not winning games, if we thought we could solve specific issue ... we would do something about it.

"It's a combination of things and generally it takes longer to come out of a slump than you would like, but losing key players at certain times has hurt us and we do have a young, inexperienced side."

After playing the improving Panthers, the Roosters face a crunch clash with bitter rivals South Sydney.

Defeat to the Rabbitohs, who are also struggling at the wrong end of the table, would pile more pressure on Smith, but Noyce said it would be a mistake to get rid of the veteran coach.

"There is no point focusing on the Souths game now, we are only worried about Penrith, I will talk about Souths next week ... but what I will say is that we are 100 per cent behind the coach, he won't lose his job," he said.

Roosters recruitment manager Peter O'Sullivan revealed there are no plans to bring any big names into the club next year despite the poor campaign.

"With where we are in the salary cap, I would say there is little room for us for many new faces," O'Sullivan told AAP.

"We are concentrating on developing our young players and keeping hold of the ones we have."

O'Sullivan also ruled out any attempt to try and sign NSW fullback Josh Dugan, who's been constantly linked with the Roosters.

"Dugan is under contract at Canberra so we will not be trying to sign him," he said.

"Even if he wasn't, we wouldn't be able to afford him."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2020 AAP

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