Kevin Sinfield warns no quick fix for Leeds Rhinos
By Sky Sports Rugby League
Last Updated: 17/05/19 12:29am
Kevin Sinfield believes long-standing issues are behind the situation Leeds Rhinos currently find themselves.
Matters came to a head last week when head coach David Furner was relieved of his duties just six months into a three-year contract, followed by the Rhinos crashing out of the Coral Challenge Cup following a defeat to Championship neighbours Bradford Bulls.
Speaking to Sky Sports rugby league expert Brian Carney ahead of Thursday night's Super League game at home to Castleford Tigers, Rhinos director of rugby Sinfield did not want to divulge too many behind-the-scenes details.
However, he stated his belief the problems Leeds are facing at the moment stem from the struggles they endured in 2016 and 2018 when two bottom-four finishes sandwiched the 2017 Grand Final triumph.
"What I'd say is the club have had some difficult times over the past couple of years," Sinfield said. "This hasn't been last week after Bradford, this hasn't been a two-week old problem since Dave left, this hasn't been a problem since I came last July.
"Three out of the past four seasons, we've been in the bottom four so there has clearly been a problem here.
"What I would say is: absolutely, he (Furner) was the right man for the job at the time. Clearly, we haven't been on the right path and I just felt the confidence and belief we needed to take the club forward wasn't here and we needed to change path quickly.
"Obviously, I'm desperately disappointed it didn't work out, and it's my job to direct this club - and especially the rugby department - in the right way to make sure we get back on track."
Former Rhinos player Sinfield has come in for criticism from some quarters following Furner's sacking and he admitted he had considered his own position at the club.
But he was adamant the decision was taken with the best interests of the Rhinos in mind and is in no doubt he still has plenty to offer.
"If, at any stage, I feel that I can't help this club move forward, if I'm asked to move, I will go without any arguments whatsoever," Sinfield said.
"I came back to help, I didn't come back for any big pay cheque. I could have been sat at home like a lot of ex-players and stayed out of it, but I love the club and at the heart of all decisions I make, the club will come first - like it was with the Dave situation.
"I know it's tough, but we're two weeks on now and we're going to draw a line under it."
The Rhinos' recent misery was compounded with a 30-8 defeat to Castleford in Thursday's Super league game at Headingley, which marked the opening of the new North Stand.
That defeat left them 10th in the table, but Sinfield insists there is no rush to appoint a replacement for Furner just yet and has given interim coach Richard Agar his backing.
"I've been inundated with approaches, but at this stage we're 100 per cent behind Richard," Sinfield said.
"Everyone who has tried to make contact has been told the same thing.
"This club needs a period of stability, we need to get back focusing on what's important and that's out on the pitch."