Tigers not burdened by slow start: Maguire

George Clarke |

Wests Tigers coach Michael Maguire says his winless side doesn’t feel any added pressure as they prepare to face Cronulla.

The Tigers are the only NRL team still searching for their first win of the season.

Maguire’s side pushed Melbourne all the way in round one, were humiliated by Newcastle and then suffered 16-12 and 8-6 losses to the Warriors and Gold Coast respectively.

But as they travel to face Craig Fitzgibbon’s high-flying Sharks on Sunday, Maguire claimed there wasn’t a growing burden of expectation on his side.

“We don’t have any pressure,” he said.

“What is our pressure? Obviously we’re after the results but I don’t think anyone really gives us a chance anyway.

“For us it’s about going in and working hard for each other and going after what we are after which is a strong performance and a strong game.

“We’ve got our own expectations on each other. You have outside or internal thoughts but our expectations are very high on what they are for each other.”

Another loss would undoubtedly ratchet up the pressure on Maguire’s long-term future as Tigers coach with games against Parramatta, South Sydney, St George Illawarra and Manly to come. 

Stretching back to last season the Tigers have won just two of their last 12 under his tenure.

But there are green shoots on the horizon with Jackson Hastings due back from suspension next week.

Maguire said he took heart from how their effort continued to remain high despite consecutive losses.

“(In) a lot of our games we’ve been in really good positions to be able to win,” Maguire said.

“That’s what we’ve got to take forward and the confidence that our style of play and those things work.

“I think they’ve shown that over the last month. We had a hiccup up there in Newcastle but the boys are fighting for themselves and fighting for the club.

“I’m seeing the boys build a really strong bond when you undergo a bit of adversity. We’ve got to get out and fight really hard.”