Incoming Titans coach Justin Holbook has a simple and clear message for Gold Coast fans: Hold on, help is on the way.
Holbrook is upbeat and excited about the prospect of taking the reins at the Titans, after being appointed as Gold Coast Head Coach for at least the next two seasons.
While the Titans’ 2019 is imploding after a big loss to the Roosters on Sunday, Holbrook says the work being done behind the scenes on the Gold Coast has the club in great shape for a an NRL revival next year.
“Obviously I am not happy with how they are going at the moment, and (Sunday) was hard to watch,” Holbrook told NRL.com.
Holbrook's plan to turn Titans around
“(But) as for the rest, the whole set-up and what is coming through is what has got me excited about (coaching the Titans).
“We all know they are not doing well, and haven’t gone well for a couple of years. But for myself, once I had spoken to Mal (Meninga), everything is in place up there now.
“They have (CEO) Steve Mitchell, (Executive Chairman) Dennis Watt there, Mal there – I think the owners have got the front office right now.
“They have a big junior nursery, they have some good schools up there, some good feeder clubs, so everything is right. The main thing now is getting the first grade team firing.
“So everything they’ve got in place on the Gold Coast is right, and anything can happen.”
Holbrook said he could understand scepticism about his appointment from success-hungry Titans fans, given the club’s recent track record and his relative lack of profile in the NRL.
But he points to the incredible amount of work done off the field in the past 12 months since Meninga’s arrival as the foundation for a successful team on the field.
Holbrook is confident he is the man to deliver a successful team to the Gold Coast, and has told Titans fans to judge him on his results and reputation, rather than his profile.
“I was in a similar boat when I came over here to St Helens,” Holbrook said about proving himself with the Titans.
“Obviously not having a playing background, you never going to appeal to anybody because you’re always going to be unknown in their eyes because they haven’t grown up watching me play or anything like that.
“Whether it is that I have earnt the right, or I am ready for the role, whatever way you want to look at it… I have coached all the lower grades. I was an NRL assistant for two and half years where I learnt a lot under Robbo, and then I am in a Head Coach role now.
“If I was to say anything to the Gold Coast fans, it would be: Be confident that I am the right person, because I have been over here now for two and a half years, and we are going well here at St Helens.
“For the sans, they have chosen me. I feel I am definitely the right person for the job. I know it is a big task, but any (job) is a big task in the NRL.
“With any club you are going to coach, you are under pressure and you have got to perform. This is no different.
“While I definitely feel that while they won’t have known of me, I am OK with that, because I was I the same boat when I first came over here at St Helens, and I have done well here.
“Once I get there, I will be letting the playing group know that I am excited to be there.
“I have obviously loved my time here at St Helens and easily could have stayed here.
“The fact I have got the opportunity at the Titans is exciting for me, and one I want them to look forward to, too.”