"I think the club's improving. We're on the right track.": Mick Potter. Photo: Getty Images
Wests Tigers coach Mick Potter has revealed he contemplated walking out of the top job this week as a result of the drama that has engulfed the club over his future.
At the core of all the drama surrounding skipper Robbie Farah and chief executive Grant Mayer is the speculation over Potter's position at the club. To Potter's credit, he fronted the media in the early hours of Sunday morning at Campbelltown Sports Stadium, ahead of Monday night's clash with Melbourne, where he admitted that the toll of the ordeal forced him to consider handing in his resignation.
"It has [crossed my mind]," Potter said. "But I think I do pretty well at this. My job is to get the players to perform at their best, and I think I do that. I don't think you can walk away from something you think you can add some value to. I think I do all right at this, so I'm going to stick at it."
Ever since he agreed to become Tim Sheens' successor ahead of last season, controversy and drama has followed Potter every step of the way. But he's no stranger to going about his business with an axe hang over his head, surviving when most thought he would be out of a job last year.
“Last year was off the back of - we’d lost seven games in a row," Potter said. "We were on bare bones last year with players and that never stopped them trying as hard as they possibly could to get wins. This situation is slightly different I think. It’s just a bit of frustration by media, you guys just talking about stuff. It’s just flown on for about a week now."
Call it coincidence, but it seems like the flow on affect has taken a toll on Potter, who has been battling the flu this week. While he appears run down, he insists it won't get the better of him. “I’m not exhausted, it’s tiresome at best," Potter said. "I’d rather you guys be speaking about all the brilliant tries and the great defence that’s in the game rather than speaking about off field issues."
St George Illawarra and Newcastle are on the lookout for a coach for next season, while there's also uncertainty around the future of John Cartwright at the Titans.
While Potter has been given no guarantee he will be in a job at the Tigers next season, he insists he isn't weighing up other options as a back-up plan if he gets the flick from the joint venture. "It's not something I've thrown myself at," Potter said. "I want to continue here, so my focus is here. I'll work this to the death and hopefully it will be long term."
With the NRL still yet to appoint three independent members on to the Wests Tigers board, Potter admitted the lack of direction was frustrating. He believes the new board could unite the club and get everyone back on the same page.
"I think the club’s improving," Potter said. "I think the club’s getting there, we’re all on the right track, we all want the same things. There was supposed to be a new board formed quite some time ago and that’s been a frustrating process for everyone but I think everyone has good intentions to get there.
"That’s probably the frustrating part. Because we’re in the transition mode from the current board to a new board, everyone’s reluctant to make a decision and I’m understanding about that. I don’t think it’s the best scenario but it’s the situation that is right at the moment and we’ll just work through that. It’s just dragged on now and obviously we want it sorted out and the sooner we get it sorted I think the better the club will be. It will be in a way better position."