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Super League coach passionately defends star player after fans question him

Mark Applegarth as head coach of Wakefield Trinity

It is inevitable that when a team has lost nine games in a row that tensions will be high and fans will be critical.

At Wakefield Trinity that is the case but Mark Applegarth has come to the defence of one of his star signings Renouf Atoni this week after he has received some criticism from Wakefield supporters.

He said on BBC Radio Leeds: “We’ve challenged Renouf, I thought in pre-season he was on fire and he looked a real handful. We’ve stripped his game back a bit and it’s a bit of confidence maybe and I think you’ll see a response off him if he plays Sunday.”

When asked about fans questioning his effort, Applegarth said: “I don’t think it’s effort for sure, he’s one of the best professionals that we’ve got. He’s on that training field every single day putting as much extra work in as he can. He’s a real good professional.

“Like all of us, we’re all frustrated with some of our performances and I’m sure he’d be the first to tell that he’s been frustrated with some of hid individual ones but I know he’s doing everything he can to work hard and make it better.

“I see people daily and they ask me questions daily and all I’d say is stick with him. He’s trying to put his best foot forward and I’m sure he will soon.”

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