Garth Brennan knows the importance of a win against the Warriors. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)
Garth Brennan knows the importance of a win against the Warriors. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Brennan: My neck is on the chopping block

GOLD Coast coach Garth Brennan admits his "neck is on the chopping board" if the Titans cannot arrest a worrying form slump starting on Friday night against the Warriors in Auckland.

Brennan is staring at an unwanted slice of history with the Titans arriving in New Zealand in danger of becoming the first team in Gold Coast's 12-year history to start a campaign with four consecutive losses.

Last week's gutsy 28-20 loss to Souths saw Gold Coast's class of 2019 join the 2011 and 2015 outfits as the only Titans teams to launch the season with three successive defeats.

But no Titans team - not even their wooden-spoon outfit of 2011 - has ever dropped four games in the opening month of the premiership.

Another loss, especially one against a Warriors team that was thumped 46-12 by Manly last week, would only amplify pressure on Brennan.

Titans powerbrokers moved to ease speculation over their rookie NRL coach by activating a 12-month option in his contract last November, extending Brennan's tenure at the Titans until the end of 2020.

Brennan is too busy trying to deliver the Titans' maiden win to fret over his coaching future but he is pragmatic about his situation in the ruthless, results-driven world of the NRL.

The Titans could start the season with four losses. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
The Titans could start the season with four losses. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

"We have to win. I am under no illusions that that's the case," Brennan said.

"At the end of the day, my neck is on the chopping board.

"If the team is losing, the head coach wears it.

"At the end of the day, every NRL coach is under pressure if they don't win NRL games.

"I'm contracted for another 18 months and I have to do the best I can to get the guys to perform.

"I don't feel any more pressure than any other NRL coach apart from maybe Craig Bellamy (Melbourne super coach) and Trent Robinson (Roosters' premiership winner).

Garth Brennan is still searching his first win in 2019. Picture by Jason O'Brien.
Garth Brennan is still searching his first win in 2019. Picture by Jason O'Brien.

"I'm lucky to have an NRL coaching job. I can't be worried about my future. If I worry about that, I'm not focused on the job at hand."

In his second campaign as an NRL coach, Brennan is adamant he needs time to regenerate a Titans club that has made the finals just once in the past eight seasons.

"I'm not doubting myself or questioning the path that I am on. You can't get a quick fix," he said.

"I think the owners (Rebecca Frizelle and Darryl Kelly) understand that it does take a lot of time to get your roster right and your style of play and culture embedded in the team.

"It is hard to judge a coach on one or two years, sometimes it takes longer to get a belief in the roster and the structures you want to bring in. They were aware of that. They understood that. That was why the faith was shown. I wasn't walking into a finished product.

"Sometimes a club takes time to turn around and I'm confident we have the people in the club to turn us around."

Brennan is hoping the return of star halves Ash Taylor (quadriceps) and Tyrone Roberts (achilles) can break the Titans' duck.

"We knew we had four of our first five games against top-eight sides," he said.

"The demands are greater on us this season. I certainly have aspirations for us to perform better than we did last year."