McGregor eyes permanent role

Dragons mentor Paul McGregor has officially thrown his hat into the ring for the Dragons’ head coaching gig, despite not having been interviewed for the position in his seven weeks as interim head coach at the famous club.

Speaking in the wake of the Dragons 21-12 loss to the table-topping Sea Eagles at Jubilee Oval, McGregor admitted the news that Wayne Bennett would be headed to the Broncos in 2015 – despite being widely linked to return to the outfit he guided to a premiership four years ago – could only benefit his chances of securing the role full time, though he confirmed he had not yet been approached by Dragons management about taking on the position.

"I really enjoy coaching this group and I'd like to continue coaching this group, I think that answers your question," McGregor said when asked if Bennett's withdrawal as a contender for the Red V clipboard improved his chances.

 "Nothing much changes for me; I'll turn up for work tomorrow and go again. (Wayne's) made up his mind now and went back home. I can't really comment too much at the moment, I don't know too much... My job at the moment is interim coach, and to work these guys pretty hard. 

"I think the association needs to interview the best people for the job and if they see fit that I am the best person for the job then they'll interview me in time. 

"At the moment they're doing their rounds and obviously Wayne was part of that. All I can do is look after the group that I'm in control of right now and that's this football team and continue to do that. 

"If results fall that way then they'll look at me as coach."

McGregor was reasonably happy with the effort of his side in pushing the first-placed Sea Eagles for the majority of an entertaining contest, though was quick to point out that his side was "10-15 minutes" away from truly challenging the premiership's heavyweights.

"We played against Penrith at Penrith Park when they were running first and there was a 10-15 minute window when we fell apart, so to speak... and we did it again tonight against a quality football team," said McGregor.

"We had three errors in a row and quality football teams will put you away and we've got to get that out of our game, and it hasn't been out of our game for the last month. 

"That's where we do need to improve. I thought we were very good for long periods but just weren't good for 80 minutes and you have to be."

McGregor indicated there were no injury concerns for the Dragons out of the Monday night fixture, with Trent Merrin "another week away" from returning from the shoulder injury he sustained in Origin III.