Josh Jackson has urged now-former coach Trent Barrett to continue his career, admitting he is the best coach he’s ever had.
The 44-year-old quit as Bulldogs coach on Monday, following a tough 18 months in the job that saw him win just five games.
Reports had surfaced that the Canterbury captain had requested to speak to the club’s board prior to Barrett’s departure, with Jackson confirming his side of the events that transpired.
“It’s been a tough couple of days…I’m devastated for Trent and the way it’s all worked out,” Jackson said.
“Ultimately, I feel responsible – us players are responsible for the performances on the field and the results, and obviously we haven’t been getting the results and that’s why we’ve ended up in this situation.
“To my knowledge, the board were going to sit down on Monday and just have a chat about the future and results.
“I asked if I could speak to them and just let them know that he has the support of all the players.
“That’s totally true – I fully support him and he’s a fantastic coach.”
Barrett had previously coached at Manly between 2016 and 2018, but was unable to bring them any great success either despite a strong roster.
Perhaps his best run as a coach came while working as an assistant at Penrith, which saw the club make the grand final with Barrett in charge of their attack in 2020.
Jackson was quizzed on whether or not Barrett is the best coach he has had during a tough media conference, and said he hoped to see him continue his career.
“He probably would be, yeah,” Jackson said.
“I want to make that known – he certainly has the full support of us and for me personally, he has been fantastic.
“I think he is a brilliant coach, he is probably the most well-rounded coach that I’ve had.
“He is a great communicator, he is a great motivator, he’s got great footy intelligence and knowledge.
“There has obviously been a fair bit of pressure on him. I guess at this club, members and fans and everyone involved demands results and performances, and unfortunately we haven’t delivered on that.
“I hope he doesn’t give it up and I hope he pushes on, because he has got a lot of value to add to footy and to different organisations.”
Sitting in 16th spot on the ladder, Jackson doesn’t believe the season is over for Canterbury – even if he would have liked to see Barrett remain in charge.
Mick Potter will take over the reins on an interim basis, and the skipper is hoping to see an immediate reaction when they take on the Tigers in Round 11.
“We’ve got two choices – we can use that as an excuse for poor performances, or we can rally together and go out there and win – and that’s what we plan to do,” he said.
“I’d like Trent to still be here obviously, but the only response we have now (is to win). We owe it to our fans, we owe it to Trent and to ourselves to go out there and prepare the best we possibly can.
“We can use this as something to bring us closer and to motivate us.”