Des not feeling heat at Bulldogs
Canterbury coach Des Hasler has given the strongest indication yet he will remain as head coach of the Bulldogs after brushing aside reports a board meeting on Tuesday night would decide his future.
The under-pressure coach fronted the media on Wednesday morning after the Bulldogs suffered their biggest defeat in more than three years last week against the Broncos in Brisbane.
Hasler extended his coaching career at Belmore for a further two seasons in April but the side has struggled with five wins in the next 13 games and face missing finals football for the first time since 2011.
"It was just a regular board meeting and it gained more media focus than the G20," Hasler said.
"We discussed budgets and boring things like that.
"At the same time I've got to also reflect that the group here is very united and we know it's been an up and down year."
Hasler was adamant his job was not on the line.
"It hasn't been raised, so it's not worth going down that track or commenting on," he said.
"It was just a board meeting."
Hasler did admit the board was unhappy with the results on the paddock and expected better in the final six rounds of the Telstra Premiership.
The Bulldogs will need to win their remaining six matches to give themselves any chance of featuring in September.
"[The results] were always going to be raised, and we're going to make the most of it now," he said.
"We're just thinking about winning the next game and certainly not giving up.
"That's [still] the plan [to play finals].
"We are six wins from making the finals and the players are striving really hard for the fans.
"We're responsible for the year and want to finish strong."
Former Bulldogs hooker Michael Ennis has called for Hasler to be sacked and questioned the recruitment and retention of the squad in recent years.
The retired commentator left the club for Cronulla in 2015 and featured heavily in the Sharks' premiership victory 18 months later.
"People in positions, particularly commentary, are entitled to their opinion and in that setting have to make comments," Hasler said.
"It's a democracy so you express what you want.
"When you're looking from the outside in, you can't always have a clear clarity."
Regarded as one of the hardest-working coaches in the competition, Hasler understood why the criticism was being directed his way but believes the side haven't completely underachieved in 2017.
"You always want to ensure that you're getting the results and at the end of the day it's a result-driven business," he said.
"I think everyone works pretty hard in a head coaching role so it's something that you don't take lightly and it's always a challenge.
"In some aspects we have [underachieved] but in other aspects their performances have been ok."
Canterbury face the Penrith Panthers on Thursday night with Hasler's men heavily defeated 38-0 back in Round 13 when the two sides met at ANZ Stadium.