Wakefield: Players in situ are Smith’s priority not fresh faces

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NEW BOSS Brian Smith says he has the option to bring fresh players into Wakefield Trinity Wildcats’ squad, but that is not his main concern.

Smith began work yesterday with Wildcats seven points behind second-bottom Salford Red Devils on the Super League table and on a run of 14 successive league defeats.

Brian Smith

Brian Smith

Chairman Michael Carter has said money could be available if Smith decides to recruit and the Australian confirmed: “I am aware that’s possible.”

But he stressed: “Quite honestly, my priority is the guys who are here and trying to sort out the guys that can respond and stay strong.

“It is not easy being in this spot. You have got to pass the test as a man before you can pass the test as a footy player.

“It’s tough to stay strong and confident and believe in yourself and your team-mates and your club, so we have got a bit to address.”

Meanwhile, Smith said he decided to take the job after speaking to his predecessor James Webster.

Webster resigned last month after less than a year in charge and Smith said he had contacted his fellow Aussie to encourage him not get too down.

“I know what it’s like where he is right now,” Smith admitted.

“He is a great guy, James – a really great guy and a really good coach.

“He will rebound and bounce back. He told me ‘I think they need an experienced coach’. I put the phone down and overnight I thought ‘I used to be an experienced coach’. Michael rang me and it was 10 minutes’ worth of conversation. It was easy.”

Smith’s first match in charge of Wakefield is on Sunday, at home to Salford.