Dumped Tigers coach Mick Potter says he expected to be sacked by the joint venture NRL club three months ago.
Axed Wests Tigers coach Mick Potter has revealed he felt like a dead man walking during the final three months of his tenure with the NRL joint venture.
Potter was told on Wednesday by Tigers chief executive Grant Mayer that his two-year contract at the club would not be renewed, bringing to an end the former star fullback’s tumultuous reign with the Tigers.
But the former Catalans, St Helens and Bradford mentor said on Channel Nine’s Footy Show that he knew his cards were marked when speculation of his continued role with Wests come to a head before their round-20 loss to St George Illawarra in late July.
The week before the Tigers looked set for a finals berth after thrashing Canterbury 46-18, but things went down hill on the morning of the Dragons game when news broke of a board meeting that night that could decide Potter’s future.
Brisbane great and media personality Gorden Tallis then went to radio to claim that Tigers captain Robbie Farah told him that Potter “couldn’t coach” and was one of the driving forces behind a move to oust him.
The Tigers lost 28-12 to the Dragons and then dropped their next five games to fall out of finals contention.
Potter confronted Farah over the claims pre-game and said he knew from then on the writing was on the wall.
“I knew where they were heading probably three months ago and I am just disappointed it has ended this way,” Potter said.
“I understand how and why but (feeling) anger is not something that is high on the list.”
Potter said he doubted a finals spot would have saved his job.
“I don’t know. I honestly don’t know where they were heading with that, whether it would have made any difference,” he said.
When asked about the nature of his relationship with Farah now, the former Canterbury, St George and Western Reds No.1 chose his words carefully.
“We are okay on the surface. He is just passionate about the club and he wants the best for the organisation all the time,” Potter said.
“He does let his emotions get the best of him some of the time.
“We certainly had our issues during the year and I have addressed them as best as I can.
“But it wasn’t about trying to please Robbie. It was about trying to get the best out of the team all the time.
“Sometimes it doesn’t rub too well with him.”
Potter said he felt he hadn’t been given enough support and authority to do the job he wanted to do, but had confidence in the new Tigers board, headed up by media executive Marina Go.
“I’m pretty confident that the new board they have appointed is really going to make a massive step forward for the organisation,” he said.
“I’m really happy that it is in place and I think there is a group of people there that is going to take the business forward.”
Dumped Brisbane coach Anthony Griffin is the frontrunner to succeed Potter in a group that includes Nathan Brown, Jason Taylor, Matt Parish and Potter’s former assistants David Kidwell and Todd Payten.