The Bulldogs power brokers will hold emergency calls Monday to discuss the team’s early season performance and coach Trent Barrett’s future.
Canterbury officials are reportedly frustrated and have speculated over the weekend whether Barrett was still the club’s long-term boss, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
Pressure on Barrett mounted ahead of his side’s upset win over the Roosters, but a poor performance against a struggling Knights outfit has turned the spotlight back on the club’s problems in 2022.
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Bulldogs officials will also question director of football Phil Gould, asking if a return to finals football is possible with Trent Barrett as coach.
Barrett could have led his team for the last time after losing 16-6 to Adam O’Brien’s side in Newcastle.
“Trent Barrett is under tremendous pressure, there will be an emergency Bulldogs board meeting tomorrow with the suggestion that Barrett has coached his last game,” Warren Smith said of Fox League’s Magic Round coverage.
“We saw Phil Gould here in the media center not long before kick-off between the Roosters and the Eels and his mood was quite dark.
“Maybe a clue there, but big drama in Belmore.”
According to the SMH, club members have sent a wave of complaints to Canterbury-Bankstown directors, with many suggesting it is time to let Barrett go.
The Fox League panel of experts spoke at the meeting and suggested it is “writing on the wall.”
“It’s been an extremely difficult time for Trent Barrett and the Bulldogs, but the fact that there’s an emergency meeting probably suggests it’s written on the wall,” said Corey Parker.
“Why else is there an emergency meeting, what are they meeting about, if it’s not about Trent Barrett’s future.
“It’s been a difficult season for them, but I don’t know if another coach will get more out of what they have, I’m not sure. score points.
“They compete and they show up, but there’s a lot of frustration going on there, the performance they gave against the Knights last night was totally unacceptable in a lot of areas, and a lot of areas that are just effort based not talent.”
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The former Panthers assistant had no answers at Friday night’s post-game press conference after falling to the dismal record of just five wins from 34 games.
Just a few weeks ago, Phil Gould backed Barrett as the longtime Bulldogs coach, but now the decision could be out of his hands if the board decides they need serious ties.
“The fact that Phil Gould came out and said that, which means, there’s a lot of instability around,” said Corey Parker.
Many fans had a positive outlook on this season, with a number of high profile recruits, including Matt Burton and Josh Addo-Carr, poised to breathe new life into the basement dwellers.
But now all optimism has faded and the Bulldogs won’t be short of options if they need a new coach.
Paul Green, Shane Flanagan and Cameron Ciraldo are the veteran options to take over, while Steve Price has had a successful stint at Cronulla and Kristian Woolf has been solid at St Helens.
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