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Danny McGuire opens up on Tony Smith’s departure and how it has affected Hull KR’s players

With Tony Smith’s exit as Hull KR boss immediately – the news of which broke yesterday – one man was asked to step straight into the fire.

That man was former Leeds Rhinos halfback Danny McGuire who has been at Craven Park for the past few years as assistant to Smith.

Now, though, he has been asked to jump into the firing line ahead of the Hull derby at the Magic Weekend and he is loving every minute of it.

“It’s mixed emotions, in sport you learn that these things happen and you’ve got to adapt and move on pretty quick,” McGuire said.

“I got the call yesterday and I’ve jumped straight into it.

“It’s been good, “I’ve loved the first day today and I’ve had a good response from the players, but we’ve got an outstanding bunch of players that work hard for each other.

“I know where I am at regarding my coaching abilities and they are going to get as much as I can give them until the end of the season.”

McGuire has revealed just how the decision taken by Smith in April to leave hit the players.

“It’s challenging but you learn to live with it; as a player you are very focused on yourself and getting your own game.

“I don’t think outside influences have too much of a bearing on players but as long as you are alright that type of thing doesn’t bother you.

“Performances probably say the decision did affect them and professionally we could have handled the situation a little bit better as a squad.”

The interim boss does believe that he isn’t experienced yet to be a head coach.

“I had four coaches at Leeds and a couple at my time at Rovers, but results make sure the head coaches’ head is on the block and coaches understand that – the buck stops with you.

“Where we came from when Tony came in years ago to now, my role now is to continue that and grow a little bit before the back end of the season.

“I’ve really enjoyed it so far, I’ve learnt a hell of a lot from Tony – his experience and knowledge of the game is second to none and I will always have that respect for Tony especially what he did for me as a player.

“He nurtured me back in the day at Leeds – I’ve got nothing but good words to say about Tony, but I’m not ready to be a head coach yet.

“I’ve got tonnes and tonnes and learn – it would be naive of me to think otherwise. I want to leave it in a good place for Willie to take over.”

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