The Warriors are reeling from the sacking of coach Matthew Elliott after another inconsistent start to a season. Copyright: Grant Trouville/NRL Photos. Credit: Grant Trouville/NRL Photos Copyright: Grant Trouville/NRL Photos
Andrew McFadden has had more ups and downs in the past two and a half weeks than a Luna Park rollercoaster with a busted power switch.
In that time the newly appointed Warriors acting coach has experienced the honour of being made assistant coach of the Kiwis, the shock of being told his boss and mentor Matt Elliott had left the club, and then been thrust into the life of an NRL head coach himself.
"I must admit my head is spinning, but I keep grounding myself in the fact that I worked hard for this and that's why I got here," the former Canberra Raiders halfback said.
"It hasn't been easy but we have the right people now and are really focussed on this week against the Bulldogs."
A former assistant with Les Catalans in Europe's Super League, McFadden has wasted no time in making his mark on the New Zealand club.
His team named for the Bulldogs game at Eden Park this Sunday featured some notable absences, with Chad Townsend and established back-rower Feleti Mateo both dropped to NSW Cup.
"The reason this has all happened is performance," McFadden declared.
"Ultimately we are accountable for our performances and we need to improve that.
"No-one is guaranteed a spot, reputations carry you so far but if you are not doing the job then something needs to happen."
McFadden acknowledged that it had been a difficult week for his players, but believed they would lift for him against the second-placed Bulldogs.
"They [the players] have been doing it tough, as we all have," he said.
"They are buying into the gameplan, they know it works when we do it well.
"History tells that after these sorts of things players do get up, and I feel that.
"I think they are really determined, they are not happy about what happened last week and even in the last few days, so they are really going to focus on this game."
Experienced squad members Jacob Lillyman and Nathan Friend agreed, insisting that despite the disappointment of losing Elliott, the playing group were behind the man they call "Cappy".
"I think it's very, very disappointing what happened with Matty. We feel as a senior playing group that we let him down," Lillyman said.
"But in the end it is a result driven business, Cappy is in charge now and we are 100 per cent behind him."
While for Friend, the latest coaching change means he has now played under as many different coaches in his two seasons at the Warriors as he did in the previous 10 years of his career.
"It has been a bit of a rollercoaster so far since I have been here. It is nice to see that Cappy gets his opportunity, I just hope that we win in the next few weeks and it allows Cappy to cement his position," Friend said.
"I think he has a bright future and I just hope that the club allow him time to settle in and put his mark on things."
The players hadn't had the chance to meet with Elliott since the decision on Monday, but Lillyman had been in contact with his former mentor on several occasions.
"Just text messages, he's doing well, he's been in the game a long time and been through all this before," Lillyman said.
"He has accepted it and is a very clever man, I am sure he will do very well in whatever he chooses to do next."
McFadden becomes the 10th man to coach the Warriors in their 19-year history.