Phil Gould sets the record straight on Trent Barrett’s Bulldogs future following ‘childish’ media coverage

NRL

Canterbury head of football Phil Gould has set the record straight on last week’s drama at the Bulldogs – and he hasn’t held back. 

Gould reportedly ‘took over’ training prior to the clash with the Sydney Roosters, after the side had suffered six losses on the trot and weren’t playing to their potential for a full 80 minutes.

It led to speculation about Trent Barrett and his future at the club as head coach, given Gould’s previous tenures as head of football at other clubs.

Canterbury would go on to win 16-12 in a huge upset against the Tricolours, which then saw more of the plaudits go towards Gould than Barrett – potentially adding fuel to the fire surrounding the club’s coaching future. 

But in a defiant appearance on 100% Footy on Monday night, Gould adamantly expressed that Barrett is in no danger and took a massive shot at the media. 

“There was no pressure on Trent,” he said.

“I do know that Trent Barrett coached the team this week. Trent Barrett will be the coach of the Bulldogs long after I’m gone. He’s going to be a long-term coach for the club.

“All the stuff that was misrepresented and misspoken about – most of it is so childish and agenda-driven and personal grievances.

“I’ve been dealing with it for the most part of my career and it doesn’t affect me and I don’t worry about it and I laugh in their face with it.

“What they then try to do is get to people around me, so that I will respond – they will write lies and write rubbish and write misrepresentation and hope that I will respond and tell the truth.

“I have never done it, I have never tried to protect my own image by putting others down. If I tell the truth about a lot of these other things, a lot of people will be very embarrassed.

“I just suck it up and move on.”

Gould has long been the target of sections of the media throughout his time at the Roosters, Panthers and now the Bulldogs.

But the man himself has no idea why that’s the case – nor does he care.

“I don’t know (why) and I don’t care,” he said when quizzed by SMH reporter Michael Chammas. 

“I don’t buy into that rubbish. All that is wrong too (about Penrith). I’m not answering it, I don’t care what you people believe and I don’t care what you people say.

“I don’t care what the media says, I don’t care what the commentary says – I know the truth and that’s all I need to know, I’m satisfied with that.

“I wonder about the childishness of the people who comment on this, without ever knowing the real facts. Most of what they try to do is to get me to comment about it, so that they know the truth.

“Their curiosity means nothing to me.”

Canterbury’s shock win over the Roosters was just their second of the year, following a tight victory over the Cowboys in the opening round.

Gould said he wasn’t surprised to see a response from the Bulldogs, but admits they have a long way to go.

“Nothing surprises me in football,” he said.

“There have been patches in games where they have been competitive with the best around. It’s an 80-minute performance that they’ve been looking for and they’ve had a very tough draw.

“They’ve had five or six players in the club that haven’t played at all this season. We’ve had the COVID issue, we’ve had injuries, they’ve had a couple of games they were in against really quality opposition – but they just lacked a little bit of class.

“Sometimes you have to be honest about what is losing you games – that comes into coaching and the club and sticking together.

“They didn’t play great football on the weekend, but there was a resilience and togetherness about them – whatever happened, they were going to find a way to get the result.

“Their football and our club has a long way to go before we are where we want – but it was nice to see those players get a win on the weekend.”

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