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Simon Grix denies talk of Hull FC players being unhappy with Tony Smith

Hull FC coach Tony Smith

A week is a long time in rugby league and that has proven the case for Hull FC this week given that a week ago Tony Smith still had his job.

Fast forward and Smith has been sacked, two star players have been released and Richie Myler has retired from playing to take on a Director of Rugby role at the MKM Stadium.

One man who has been at the eye of the storm for that is Simon Grix with the ex-Halifax Panthers head coach being tasked with leading the club until a new head coach is appointed.

Asked how that whirlwind week has been, Grix’s response was simple: “Chaotic.”

He also admitted that it had been a “little bit uncomfortable”, the 38-year-old standing up to be counted and accepting that the current form the club are in isn’t just down to Tony Smith, but himself and the rest of the coaching staff too.

Of course, the players play the biggest role ultimately because it is they who take the field and put in the performances and Grix told BBC Humberside how they’ve fared since the sacking of Smith.

“I hope, like myself, that they’ve felt a bit of guilt being part of that,” the former Warrington stalwart explained.

“We’ve had our third day together today and they’re showing pretty well, considering the wind and the rain and all the rest of it. They’ve had a couple of good sessions in them and hopefully, we can be proud of and they’re not too distant.

Player discontent at Hull FC denied

Hull FC

Credit: Imago Images

Performances at the club have been way off the level expected with only London Broncos below Hull FC in Super League, the Black and Whites’ sole win coming over the capital club with a narrow 28-24 victory.

There has been talk of player discontent in West Hull, a rumour that is natural to occur when a team are out of form, however, Grix has firmly shut down any suggestion that the players were unhappy with Smith.

“No,” he bluntly responded.

“It’s disappointing because Tony’s a stand-up bloke and he doesn’t like to leave anything or talk behind people’s backs or anything like that so if that was the case, I think there’s a lesson in there, speaking your mind and speaking to the people that you might have an issue with.

“Again for me, I didn’t see it. You’ve got 40 blokes in a room, they’ll all have different opinions, probably not 40 different ones but there will certainly be different ones in amongst them.

“Like any other job, if there’s 40-50 people in a room in an office, I wouldn’t expect everyone to agree with what the person leading it thinks or what each other thinks.”

One thing that Grix did stress was that the players, along with himself and other coaches, had let the Australian down but he was keen to note that the club hadn’t been dealt a good hand so far this season.

He explained: “Well yeah, as I said, we all have. It’s not one man alone. It’s not just coaching staff, not players. Collectively, it’s not been good enough and the factors involved in that, that’s for another time but the obvious ones in injuries, the availability of players and the bans that have come with it at the start of this season.

“Basically everything that could have gone wrong has gone wrong for us to date I think.

“We are where we are now. We just need to look forward and if we spend too much time looking back you know we’ll never get anywhere.”

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