Michael Maguire has told Wests Tigers players to seize the opportunity to end a long-running cycle of inconsistency at the NRL club and rise to their full potential.
Maguire shocked Tigers players this week when he axed club legend Benji Marshall from the side to face Canberra on Saturday night.
Marshall was one of five casualties from the Tigers’ loss to Gold Coast, alongside Luke Garner, Billy Walters, Robert Jennings and Oliver Clark.
But Maguire’s changes were about more than just becoming the first team to lose to the Titans in more than a year.
The Kiwis coach is desperate make a change at the NRL club, who have only strung together runs of three straight wins twice in the past six years.
Not since 2012 have the team won four on the trot, while their finals absence since 2011 is the longest in the league.
“You look at the results and that’s the history of where we’ve been,” Maguire said.
“I have come to the club to build change, and that’s part of building the culture and how we want to perform.
“I’ve got real belief in this team and believe we should be a lot better than we are.
“That’s why I make the decision over where we’re at.
“We’ve made massive changes and the club itself is moving forward very quickly. We’ve just got to make sure it replicates itself on the field now.”
And Maguire expects his side to heed his message on Saturday night.
They have scored more than 20 points in both their losses this year, frustrating Maguire after they started well against Newcastle and the Titans before losing.
Now into his second season at the Tigers, Maguire has experience in turning clubs around after pulling off a similar missions with South Sydney’s drought-breaking 2014 premiership.
“I’ve coached against the Wests Tigers over the years and I’ve spent enough time here to understand the makings of the team.
“It’s about change. I have been at an organisation before where the change can come very quickly.
“We’ve just got to make sure we do what’s asked in the past week.
“We want to take the club to the top and the only way you do that is by playing for 80 minutes.”
The Raiders will be without second-rower Corey Horsburgh due to illness at Campbelltown, with Ryan Sutton set to come into the 17.
Meanwhile Maguire will come up against a man he first brought through his junior academy at Wigan at the start of last decade in George Williams.
Williams has been in fine form for Canberra, starring in their win over Melbourne in round three before setting up three tries against Newcastle last week.
“He’s a quality talented player, I was very aware of him as a young kid coming through,” Maguire said.