Griffin says Gould also 'old school' in his approach
Sacked Penrith coach Anthony Griffin said Phil Gould – the man who described him as "old school" after showing him the door on Monday – was just as deserving of that unwanted description.
Speaking on the NRL 360 show on Fox Sports on Wednesday night, Griffin said disagreement over coaching philosophy was the root cause of the fallout between he and Gould.
Griffin said the work he did in lifting the club from being in a battle to avoid the wooden spoon into a side battling for the 2018 Telstra Premiership was something he was proud of.
"Gus [Gould] hasn't coached for 20 years, I know he's got an opinion and I'm not here to disrespect him," Griffin said.
"He hasn't coached for 20 years, he hasn't had his head in the fire for 20 years. So, if there's anyone old school in the conversation … if I'm in the conversation about being old school then he needs to be in there as well."
Griffin said his exit from the Panthers came after a period in which he played a major role in setting the club up for a bright future.
"To be in the position we are in now – as a top-four side – and a genuine NRL premiership contender, it has happened a little bit quicker than I thought, but it has happened," he said.
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"The old-school coach [term]? I've got my own methods.
"I wouldn't be sitting here today if I didn't know what I was doing. Having a team over three years [to go] from playing off for a wooden spoon to sixth, sixth and now genuine premiership contenders. If that's old school, I'll take it any day."
After having enjoyed a strong working relationship during his early days at Penrith, Griffin told NRL 360 differing ideas on the game drove a huge wedge between he and Gould – one that resulted in Monday's upheaval.
"The biggest breakdown, and there was obviously a breakdown …. Our relationship broke down on coaching philosophy.
"I'm a strong personality, he's a strong personality. The suggestion I didn't involve staff is totally untrue.
"We had a difference in philosophy on how the team should be coached, not the structure or the use of staff or anything like that."
When asked to describe his period at the club, Griffin expressed satisfaction.
"I'd describe it as very successful. I was brought in to do a job. To build a club from the inside out, or that was my vision for the place," he said.
"It is happening. I know Gus said something about the next level, but we are at the next level. We are there quicker than what I thought we'd be.
"My relationship with Gus was very good at the start and he's got a brilliant football brain. One of the main reasons I did come down was to work with him and obviously he's a different style of football brain to me and I learned some things off him and he was really good to work with.
"I understand how brutal our game is, so we can spin it as much as we like about why or when, but why I'm not coaching anymore is because we had a difference in philosophy on how the team should be coached - not the structure or the use of staff or anything like that. The suggestion that I didn't involve staff is totally untrue."