In his final press conference before stepping down as Canterbury-Bankstown coach, Trent Barrett said he sounded like a broken record.
His side had just lost 16-6 to Newcastle on Friday at the NRL's Magic Round and Barrett had watched a familiar trend play out in front of him.
"They're courageous and they try hard but that's not enough to win you games," he said of a result which condemned his side to bottom spot on the NRL ladder.
"I sound like a broken record with the press conferences because it's the same every week. It's not good enough."
After leaving Manly in 2018, Barrett was given a second chance as an NRL head coach after being credited with revitalising Penrith's attack in 2020.
He joined the Dogs in 2021 but under his guidance the club has won just five out of 34 games and their pattern of play is stale and unimaginative.
If it weren't for Ed Courtney's 12.5 per cent win rate in 1935 , Barrett would have the worst winning percentage of any coach in the Bulldogs' history at 15.2 per cent.
Dig a little deeper into the statistics and Barrett's failings are laid bare.
Despite recruiting Josh Addo-Carr, Matt Burton, Tevita Pangai and Matt Dufty in the off-season, Canterbury became the first side to not score 100 points through the opening 10 rounds since the South Queensland Crushers in 1996.
Even that doesn't quite paint the picture.
Of the few tries they did score, most came off kicks and it's only by virtue of Burton or Addo-Carr producing some magic that the Dogs have otherwise got over the whitewash.
Captain Josh Jackson has often played the role of a ballplaying lock, but rather than act as an attacking fulcrum he has made them look clunky.
It is therefore hard for five-eighth Burton and whichever halfback Barrett chooses - he has used three this season - have had little chance to create.
Being unable to find a halfback has been Barrett's biggest failing and while Kyle Flanagan has had the job the past five weeks, the Bulldogs have been trying to offload him since the end of last year.
Alongside the club's football manager, Phil Gould, Barrett has splashed the cash with Reed Mahoney and Viliame Kikau heading to Belmore next year.
Who will coach them next year remains to be seen.
The most obvious candidate is another Penrith assistant, Cameron Ciraldo. He's unlikely to be allowed to leave the Panthers until the end of the year.
Flanagan's father, former Cronulla coach Shane, is also expected to be heavily linked with the role.
The problem with that appointment is whether the Bulldogs, who haven't played in the finals since 2016, see Kyle as part of the picture long term.
Barrett won't be handed another head coaching role anytime soon after failed stints at Manly and Canterbury but outside Belmore on Monday Gould said that the departed coach could still be a success elsewhere.
"He's as good a young coach as I've seen coming through the system, he's probably just been in the wrong place at the wrong time," he said.
"He's very confident in his ability and he works extremely hard. I can't fault him as probably the most hardworking young coach I've ever seen."
Australian Associated Press
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