Coaching Insider: Round 7
Author Dan Talintyre Timestamp Fri 20 Apr 2018, 09:50 AM
“Premierships aren’t handed out in April.”
That’s the mentality of Wests Tigers Head Coach Ivan Cleary as his side looks to continue their dominant start to season 2018 when they take on the Newcastle Knights in Tamworth this Saturday.
After three straight wins and a number of giant-killing performances to start the year, Cleary’s men sit firmly entrenched inside the top four of the competition ahead of this week’s game, and a win over the Knights could move in to the top two depending on other results falling in their favour.
However, despite a blistering start to the year and external noise surrounding the squad, Cleary maintained that it was simply another week in the office for his side as they ensured complacency didn’t creep in.
“I haven’t seen that [complacency] here and it’s just business as usual,” Cleary said.
"You can definitely see the confidence in the squad and that’s really good because you can’t fake that. That confidence started in November when we started training and that intensity has been there.
"Sometimes success is one of the hardest things to deal with because of complacency.
"But I think the key was that we never discussed where we were going to be on the ladder, or games we might win and might not so that hasn’t been part of our planning or opeeration.
“At this point we’re just trying to get better all the time,” he said.
"There’s definitely some confidence in the camp which is good, but we’ll just keep taking it one day and opponent at a time and we’ve got another tough one this week against Newcastle.
"There’s always still things to work on and our operation doesn’t rely on wins and losses.
“Obviously it’s been good to get some wins but there’s still plenty to be done.”
Set to play at the club’s fourth different home game in the opening seven rounds, Cleary said the move up to Tamworth for a few days was one that would be beneficial for both his team and the club as a whole.
“I think it’s just part of our story,” Cleary said.
"It’s our fourth home ground in seven rounds and we’ve got another one to go too.
"We’re a merged club and that brings with it not one common home ground, and we’re having a few more this year because the club has a mandate to try and be financially viable and I think that’s a good thing.
"I think it’s really responsible.
“The first one we did against Melbourne over in Auckland was a success for us, so we’re looking forward to doing it again this week.”