Gold Coast captain Ryan James challenged teammates to rally around Neil Henry after St George Illawarra heaped more pressure on the embattled Titans coach.
The futures of Henry and Jarryd Hayne at the club were again questioned after the under-performing superstar once more failed to fire a 42-16 drubbing at OWI Jubilee Oval on Saturday.
Sacked by North Queensland four years ago, Henry is fighting to save his job again following four-straight heavy defeats.
The Titans have leaked 96 points in their past two losses alone.
Henry, though, is remaining stoic amid talk he won’t see out his contract.
“It’s media banter,” he said.
“Coaches are under pressure all the time. I’ve got to get on with my job and that’s to prepare my team with my assistant coaches as best we can each week and we’ll continue to do that.
“I can’t stop the speculation. It’s up to all of us to play some decent footy and to get on with our jobs..
“I don’t need to make decisions around the governance of the club.
“I’m contracted for next season and that’s how I’m preparing.”
Henry’s relationship with Hayne is said to have been frosty for much of the season.
After initially offering “no comment” when asked if the issue was becoming a distraction, Henry suggested the NSW State of Origin star needed to lift.
“He’s a player in the team and we talk and we converse as we do all the time,” Henry said.
“There’s been a lot of media about him … the thing that makes the media go away is his performance, for the team and for individuals, and that will take care of things.”
Asked to assess Hayne’s performance against the Dragons, Henry said he needed to check the tape.
“I thought he had a couple of strong touches early and brought the ball back,” he said.
“It’s very hard to get into a game when you haven’t got a lot of possession.”
James said it was unfair to blame the coach for the Titans’ woes.
“He’s not the one out there taking hit-ups or making the tackles so everyone’s quick to chuck the blame on someone else,” the front-rower said.
“But it falls on the players. We’ve talked to ourselves and we know we’re not playing good enough footy.
“So fair enough if ‘King’ was out there kicking the ball or making the tackles, but he’s not.
“So it’s up to us as a group to come together and play some good footy.”