Boyd confident Williams can be top Dog - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Boyd confident Williams can be top Dog

By Guy Hand 19/08/2011 03:54:43 PM Comments (0)

Western Bulldogs skipper Matthew Boyd admitted surprise at his AFL club's decision to ditch coach Rodney Eade, but has backed caretaker Paul Williams as a permanent replacement.

Williams took charge of training for the first time on Friday following Eade's midweek exit.

But in an unusual move, Eade was allowed to address his former players prior to training to explain his reasons for not coaching out the remaining three matches of the season.

Boyd said it gave closure to all concerned after a taxing week, and believes the players are ready to move on without Eade - starting with Sunday's away clash against Port Adelaide.

"I think Rocket explained himself pretty clearly to the group today - it would have been pretty uncomfortable. He probably wouldn't have felt great coming back to the club," Boyd said.

"For the betterment of the group, he's probably made the right decision and we back him on that.

"There was some emotion over the last 48 hours, but what we need to do as players is back Willo, back the footy club's decision and get the most out of the remainder of the season.

"We had a connection with Rocket, we loved him as a coach, but unfortunately that's footy and that's the industry we're in."

Williams, a 300-game player at Collingwood and Sydney who has spent time as an assistant at Melbourne and the Bulldogs, said he would put his hand up for the permanent job at Whitten Oval.

And midfielder Boyd said Williams, who is likely to battle Hawthorn assistant and former Bulldogs star Leon Cameron for the top job, would be an ideal successor to Eade.

"He's been a fantastic assistant for the time he's been at the footy club, he's been terrific with me and worked really well with the midfield group," Boyd said.

"I'm really excited about the opportunity we've got to work with Willo and the opportunity Willo's got to take the team forward."

Williams admitted three weeks was not enough time to put his imprimatur on the club, but said fans could expect to see some defensive tightening in the Dogs' remaining matches.

"We're not going to reinvent the wheel, we're going to tweak and tinker with a couple of things," he said.

"I can't change a hell of a lot in three weeks, but there'll be more of a focus on the defensive side."

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