Huddersfield Giants v Wakefield Trinity - Chris Chester hits back at ‘cowardly’ attack
REPORTS of a player-revolt at Wakefield Trinity could not be further from the truth, insists head coach Chris Chester.
An article published earlier this week claimed that Chester had angered some of his players with his comments following their most recent defeat to St Helens.
After last week’s loss to the reigning Super League champions, Chester warned that some of his on-contract players needed to be worried about their futures at Belle Vue after a disappointing performance saw them beaten 48-6 – their 10th successive loss.
Wakefield have not won since the season restarted in August and have been victorious on just three occasions in all competitions in 2020.
An unnamed source accused Chester of running the club in an “unprofessional” manner while the report also claimed the Trinity coach has turned up late to training on occasion, something he strongly denies. Chester admits he is unsure where the accusations have come from but insists they are without basis.
“The disappointing thing for me is that this person or persons has not come to me and said anything,” said Chester.
“And yet an article is allowed to be published with no basis and no foundation. I take a lot of those things personally. I have never been late for a training session while I have been a coach, whether that be here or at Hull KR.
“There are things that have been published there that are so far away from the truth and there is nothing I can do about it.
“I don’t know whether it is a bitter ex-player or a bitter ex-coach that has got an issue with me. I think there is a deep-rooted issue here but I am not willing to go into detail on that.
“It is just a personal attack. I am quite thick-skinned as a coach but the disappointing thing is when it starts affecting your family, then there is a big issue there.”
Chester has held a meeting with his players and senior leadership group and revealed the squad are just as disappointed by the manner in which the allegations have come to light.
He added: “I spoke to the leadership group and they are as disappointed as I am with what has come out.
“It is a coward’s way. If you have got such an issue with myself or anybody at the club, have the guts to front me or the CEO up.
“We know results haven’t been great but these guys are busting a gut to try and turn things around.
“Things haven’t worked, things haven’t gone well and there are lots of reasons for that.
“Ultimately, we have not been good enough. That is not just the players, that is me, and the rest of my staff as well.
“The fact that it has come from an unnamed source just shows the person we are dealing with.”
Chief executive Michael Carter has given his full backing to Chester, whom he believes is still the best coach for Wakefield.
Carter said: “No-one is hurting more than Chris. He accepts results have not been good enough, but he is Wakefield through and through and wants to bust a gut to make things better.
“We are not going to make excuses for the results, but we still have confidence that Chris Chester is the right coach for this club.”
Wakefield will be without four players for Covid-19-related reasons for tonight’s contest with West Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield Giants.
Three players, and one member of staff, tested positive for the virus while one player has been stood down due to track and trace protocols.
It has been a torrid few months for Wakefield who have been hit by several Covid-19 outbreaks since the resumption of the campaign in August.
“It has just been one nightmare after another,” said Chester.
“Obviously, performances on the field have not been particularly good.
“It has been a really frustrating year. It is frustrating that we can’t string two or three games together.
“The consistency issue just arises again and it is something we need to address before we start pre-season.
“The players are probably going to get three weeks off and then we will be back at it for the first week in December.
“It has been hard. It has been really difficult.”
Wakefield will still have good numbers to pick from for tonight’s fixture as Chester added: “Taking away the four guys we have to stand down, we are looking pretty fit and healthy.”
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Thank you, James Mitchinson. Editor.