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Players must share blame with McGregor, says Dragons chief

“He has put enough on himself already and he may have felt additional in not hearing that support from the club and the board.

“He’s only human, all of the speculation would have to weigh you down.

Paul McGregor's job is safe, for now.

Paul McGregor’s job is safe, for now.

“They are hoping that by relieving that pressure, it may free him up to coach in a way that will be more successful.

“The words [full support of the board] ring true. He has full support, there is nothing but support in that room for him and our statement backs that.

“What others have done in the past, I can’t comment on. But I know in that room, everyone was keen to support him and assist in any way they can to find that spark and turn things around.”

McGregor is contracted until the end of next year and the Dragons faced the prospect of a $1 million payout – plus the cost of a replacement – if they sacked him. Webb said “finances had nothing to do with it” but stopped short of guaranteeing McGregor would see out his contract.

“There was essentially no time frame put on it,” Webb said.

“Mary is struggling, he’s four games into the season, let’s get around him and support him. No time frames.”

Dragons fans have been calling for McGregor’s head after a 0-4 start to the year, coming off a 15th-place finish in 2019.

“I just hope they see this is a board supporting their own – and asking them to do the same at times when it can be a bit tough to do so,” Webb said.

The Dragons have big-name stars Ben Hunt, Corey Norman, Tyson Frizell, Paul Vaughan and James Graham on the books. Asked if the players needed to take responsibility for the situation, Webb said: “Yeah, I do think they need to take some and they have.

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“The conversations I have heard, and the messages that have been passed on, the players are definitely understanding that some of this is theirs to be accountable for as well. I think they are.”

Webb said McGregor was “appreciative” of the club’s vote of confidence and said a turnaround must occur immediately to have any chance of reaching the finals.

“You are always aiming for finals,” Webb said. “We are four games in and they are going to need to turn it around very soon. First, I just want to see the right performances and the right sort of heart out on that field.

“That’s the thing I want to see first.”

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