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SportPaul McGregor admits St George Illawarra have attitude problem after latest loss

05:50  20 july  2019
05:50  20 july  2019 Source:   sportingnews.com

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Paul McGregor admits St George Illawarra have attitude problem after latest loss© Getty Images

Five days after boldly declaring St George Illawarra can still win the NRL premiership, besieged coach Paul McGregor downgraded his Dragons to a mathematical chance of making the 2019 NRL finals.

Paul McGregor admits St George Illawarra have attitude problem after latest loss
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McGregor’s men were mauled by the resurgent Penrith Panthers who piled on five unanswered tries in 22 minutes to put the contest beyond doubt on the hour mark on Friday night.

The Dragons have now lost three on the trot and nine of their past 11 games to sit in 14th spot on the ladder, four points adrift of eighth spot.

“Mathematically we can, yeah, and I still believe that we can,” McGregor said when asked if the Saints, who were among the pre-season premiership favourites, can make the top eight.

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“But again, like I said last week, there’s a long way to go.

“It’s down to now winning every game or winning six of our next seven.

“We’re making it hard for ourselves, especially with performances in the second half like that.”

A clearly shattered McGregor promised team changes at his post-match press conference after conceding their collective attitude wasn’t up to standard against the Panthers.

“I think it’s a compounding thing with a bit of self-belief and a bit of doubt, a bit of trust at different stages with people that you’re with out there,” he said when asked to explain his side’s dramatic losing slide.

“It does break your heart, it hurts. It hurts for our supporters, it hurts for the coach, it hurts for some players.

“But attitude is something that, the greatest power a player has is the power to choose and you can choose what sort of attitude you have, and it’s valuable to your footy team.

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“And you’ve got to have it when everything’s going well and you’ve got to have it at tough times.

“And at the moment when times are tough, we’ve got to have a better attitude.”

McGregor added of the mounting criticism and calls from furious Dragons fans for his sacking: “I don’t take things personally there, I understand (the criticism) when the team’s not performing the way we need to at the moment.

“We’ve had above level distractions and no element of luck during the year and we haven’t had our strongest 17 on (the field) but we shouldn’t be beaten by scores that we’ve been beaten the last couple of weeks.

“So I understand that, as a coach I’m the leader so aim up on me and leave my players alone a little bit.”

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