Anthony Seibold has been backed by star winger Corey Oates to give the Brisbane Broncos the tougher mental edge they need in 2019 so that their recent semi-final capitulation to the St George Illawarra Dragons does not occur again.
The 24-year-old is still hurting from Brisbane's 48-18 loss to the Dragons, which he described as "the worst way I've gone out in a game in a season".
Oates, who was coached by Seibold when he was Maroons assistant coach in 2016, said the new Broncos mentor had already outlined where Brisbane must improve to be a premiership force.
Oates said a tendency to inexplicably go missing in games was one of them.
"Seibs is going to work on the things that I believe are the reason why we didn't go all the way last season," Oates said.
"He's said that we do a fair bit right, but the little areas we got wrong really killed us and if we can minimise them we will have a good chance.
Seibold’s first day at Brisbane
"I think we are a pretty fit football team but we are just lacking in not turning up sometimes. There were a couple of games where we weren't us and weren't the team that we should have been that day. I can vouch for a couple of games where I wasn't that great but that's not how it should be.
"Don't get me wrong. Wayne [Bennett] was a great coach and awesome to have for four years. Seibs is not going to change everything we do but the little things he will change with a few players will benefit them a lot."
The Broncos beat the Sharks, Rabbitohs and Roosters home and away but their finals exit to the Dragons left a deep scar on Oates psyche.
"It was really tough to be a part of and it makes it harder to remember what we did well last year with the way it finished. It does still burn," he said.
"The top teams we turned up against… but to finish the way we did, there's no excuses. We just didn't turn up."
Seibold said when introduced as Broncos coach that his approach to rugby league was based on principles and not structure.
Oates said that from his own dealings with Seibold in Origin camp, providing the right mindset for players was one of his great strengths.
"He keeps things pretty basic and not too 'out there' and that is what you want in a game of football," Oates said.
"The last thing you want is to be under fatigue and pressure and have all these things going through your head so I think he is going to be really good. He is a younger coach than most getting around. It is just a different mindset and focus."
Corey Oates re-signs with Broncos
Oates said Bennett's sacking at the Broncos was "sad" but added the playing group was relieved there was now clarity about the club's future after the recent turmoil.
"We would have been happy if they had come out and said 'we are backing Wayne to be the coach for next year' and everyone else do the same thing – not one say one thing and someone else say the other," Oates said.
"That was all we were waiting for, a clear direction. We just wanted to know if Wayne was going to be our coach or Seibs. We didn't want anyone to be sacked, just an answer. Now it is all finished… we have our coach and we have our focus for next year and we can move forward."