Elliott aims to keep Warriors grounded

ROBERT LOWE
Last updated 15:55 08/11/2012
Matthew Elliott STD
GRAHAME COX/Fairfax NZ
GROUNDED: New Warriors coach Matthew Elliott is not making any big claims about the next NRL season

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The Warriors will head into a new NRL campaign with high expectations, but new coach Matthew Elliott says it's too early to make pronouncements about how quickly they will bounce back from their disappointing 2012 season.

Elliott was appointed four weeks ago as successor to Brian McClennan, who departed before the end of his first year in the job after the 2011 grand finalists slid to near the foot of the table.

The former Canberra and Penrith coach met the Warriors' players as a group for the first time this week at the start of pre-season training.

At the moment, he's taking more of an observer's role to allow the conditioning staff to get their work done.

But he's enthusiastic about what he's seen and the support he has had.

At the same time, he didn't want to make any "grandiose statement" about the Warriors' fortunes next year.

"I'm not really well equipped to say that yet," he said on Thursday.

"I've been here four days with the players."

However, Elliott added that he always preferred to take the view that every match is winnable, rather than the opposite one.

"If we lose the first game, there's still the possibility that we will win the next game," he said.

"We want to have high expectations. I don't see how that can hurt."

Elliott also said the appointment of the captain, a role held by Simon Mannering for the past three seasons, would be made after he had spent more time with the players.

"It will be an informed decision," he said.

Elliott has named one of his two assistants, New Zealand under-18 and Auckland Vulcans coach Ricky Henry.

He said his other assistant would be confirmed "soon".

Elliott admits it's been a "whirlwind" since his appointment.

"Obviously, I had to get staff and we had to look at what facilities to use," he said.

"There was a lot of logistical stuff to do initially, but I'm enjoying every second of it."

The short timeframe hadn't affected planning for the pre-season.

"If I was appointed two months before, we wouldn't be doing anything different than we are today," he said.

"While it intensified the amount of activity over a three or four-week period, we achieved the same stuff. I feel content."

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