Warriors caretaker coach Tony Iro admits the danger of being tarred with the "Bluey brush" could see him out of a job at season's end.
Iro has been Brian McClennan's assistant this year, but now finds himself in the head coaching role after the Warriors board decided to sack the former Kiwis coach with only two games remaining this season.
The Warriors have had a horror season after reaching the NRL grand final in 2011. They are currently 13th on the NRL ladder, with six consecutive losses.
Now tasked with salvaging something out of a season stricken with poor results and a lengthy injury list, Iro said he knew he could follow McClennan out the exit door, given the ambitious nature of co-owners Eric Watson and Owen Glenn.
"I've been in this game as a player and a coach for nearly 30 years, so I know what happens at clubs," Iro said as he prepares to take the team to Wollongong to face the Dragons on Saturday. They finish at home to the Raiders the following weekend.
"I know the expectations that clubs place on you, both as a player and as a staff member. We are a results-driven business, and if you don't perform, you're usually shown the door. I've got no problems with that.
"We're all responsible with what has happened this year, each in our own way," he added.
"There's a recognition that we all could have done better. The club's prepared to do everything it can to get us back to where we want to be."
Though McClennan has ultimately taken the blame for the Warriors' slump this season, which has seen them win only two games in their last nine, the finger could well be pointed at several key uninjured players who have performed well under par of late.
Iro hopes the bar is raised over the next two weeks by the players, who he said felt "responsible" for the Warriors' poor season.
"What I'm looking for is a commitment, from the players, to finish the season off," he said. "We've had some terrible results over the last five or six weeks.
"In terms of that, we'll find out a lot about some of our players. Whether they think they deserve to be here, and whether they think they should be here, and I'd expect them to put their hands up."
Reports indicate some players had lost confidence in the coaching situation under McClennan, but Iro said he did not question the commitment of the Warriors. He admitted that "we might learn a bit more about that over the last two weeks" if results did not change.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Where will the Warriors finish in the upcoming NRL season?