The fans show their support for St George Illawarra coach Paul “Mary” McGregor at Sunday’s match against Gold Coast. Picture: GETTY IMAGES
Dragons captain Ben Creagh has revealed the players believe in Paul McGregor as the club’s long-term coach, after providing his own personal endorsement to chief executive Peter Doust during the coaching review process.
The Dragons looked a renewed force following the announcement just two days before as they completely outgunned a sluggish Titans outfit to keep their finals charge rolling.
Creagh, who was a late inclusion after making an early return from a hamstring injury, directly attributed the lift in desire to McGregor’s appointment post-match.
“The boys were all really excited when it was announced on Friday that Mary was coach. We’d been hoping that that would be the case for a while now, ever since he took over,” Creagh said.
“I think a lot of the guys have already spoken out about how much respect he has from the team and not just our team but across all players in our club.
“He’s very honest with the players and very upfront with us and that’s what you want from a first-grade coach.
“The team’s responded really well since he’s taken over. It’s exciting to know that he’s going to be the coach for the next three years.
“It adds a bit of stability too for the side knowing who the coach is going to be and the guys are excited about that. It certainly gives me a lot of confidence and it showed today in our performance.”
While a bid for the services of Wayne Bennett fell over at the 11th hour and a number of other coaches, including Titans coach Neil Henry, were linked to the role, Creagh said he gave McGregor his personal endorsement as skipper to the board and Doust.
“I backed Mary 100 per cent the whole time,” Creagh said.
“We’ve done a lot of hard work over the past 10 weeks and that would’ve been wasted had we brought a new coach in.
“The amount of work Mary’s put into this side, it was important that that work continued not only into next year but in years to come.
“It’s great to know now that the stuff we’ve been working on for the past 12 weeks we can continue that on for the next couple of games, hopefully play finals footy, but also looking towards our preseason in 2015.”
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