Players not shocked by Griffin exit but left in dark with timing
Penrith skipper James Maloney joined teammates on Tuesday morning for a briefing with Panthers executive general manager Phil Gould after receiving confirmation the previous night that Anthony Griffin's coaching tenure was over.
Penrith players Dean Whare, James Tamou, James Fisher-Harris and Moses Leota were initially scheduled for an 8:30am media session at the club's academy headquarters.
But when news broke on Monday afternoon, they were pulled from their media duties with Gould stepping up to speak on Griffin's departure.
The players were briefed upon arrival to training a short time after Gould addressed the media scrum.
"Like all the boys I found out on the news last night with it reported," Maloney told The Big Sports Breakfast on Sky Sports on Tuesday.
"I really had no idea and am about to go into training now to get a rundown on what's happening and all that. I suppose the talk around this started back in pre-season and has gone back throughout the year.
"When this external stuff, you just block it out and don't take any notice of it. In terms of us as players, even when the talk has been going on throughout the year there hasn't really been a whole late of chat between players.
"He didn't lose my support, I had no issues with Hook. The whole thing has sort of been kept away from the players."
Maloney agreed with Gould's comments that Griffin brought an old-school coaching method to the side but refused to be included as one who wanted the former Broncos mentor forced from the club.
"He didn't lose my support, I had no issues with Hook," Maloney said.
"[Regarding other teammates] not that I know of, it's hard to talk on behalf of everyone else, it's something that has been going on all year and always surprised me where it's come from.
"I definitely think he's got an old-school attitude which I don't think that's necessarily a negative thing. He gave me quite a bit of input into things so I had no issue with the old-school approach that he had.
"I suppose the talk around this started back in pre-season and has gone back throughout the year.
"In terms of us as players, even when the talk has been going on throughout the year there hasn't really been a whole late of chat between players."
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Gould expected the players to regroup in time and make a push towards the top-four finish under caretaker coach Cameron Ciraldo.
"I think for them there's been a little bit of confusion sometimes to exactly where they were going so we want to take away that confusion," Gould said.
"We haven't been playing well at the moment even though we've won a couple of games. I know we are sitting in equal fourth on the ladder but sometimes winning masks other things that are wrong internally at the club and as a team.
"A lot of that is the distraction and confusion around the coaching."
Maloney remained content with where the Panthers were placed but said they needed to address their defensive woes.
Penrith will announce a 21-man squad for their clash with the Titans on Tuesday afternoon.