Interim Warriors coach Todd Payten has expressed his displeasure with halfback Blake Green's "surprise" departure to the Newcastle Knights this week.
"I wasn't happy, mate," Payten said on Wednesday.
"I was disappointed with the way it transpired. It happened quickly and he made it pretty clear that he didn't want to be here."
Payten, who revealed to NRL 360 on Monday that he'd declined the full-time Warriors coaching job for family reasons, was reluctant to go into further detail about his own future.
But he expanded on the circumstances surrounding 33-year-old Green's sudden move to Newcastle, who he'll represent at five-eighth against Wests Tigers on Saturday.
It was reported at the start of July that Green was upset after finding out his services weren't required beyond 2020.
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Green said Warriors owner Mark Robinson hadn't personally spoken to him before publicly revealing the veteran wouldn't be re-signed.
"Blake came to the club and asked for some direction around what was happening for next year. He probably got an answer that he didn't really want to hear," Payten said.
"It blew up in the media and then he just got on with it and he played some really good footy and handled himself really well.
"It was a bit of a surprise that he wanted to leave. He wasn't really vocal but he said he didn't want to be here, so that's what disappointed me the most."
Asked if he meant that Green had "spat the dummy", Payten replied: "No, I'm not saying that mate."
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Green's exit has provided 21-year-old Chanel Harris-Tavita the chance to wear the No.7 jersey and partner Kodi Nikorima.
Payten now wants to see Harris-Tavita and key players around him "step up" their leadership.
"Blake was a security blanket with his talk and direction. And a lot of the times I reckon they sat back and let him take control and were happy to do so," Payten said.
"But now he's gone there's a definite new feeling. Not just Chanel but Wayde [Egan], Karl [Lawton], Kodi, Rog [Tuivasa-Sheck], Tohu [Harris], those guys have to lift their talk and their direction."
The coach is excited by Harris-Tavita's potential, saying "he's got the foundation of being a decent NRL player".
"The best thing with Chanel is he wants to learn. He's always working hard on his game and I've been really impressed with the way he goes about his training and the way he approaches his game," Payten said.
"Stacey [Jones] has been doing a lot of work with him over the last six to 10 weeks and Chanel's the one pushing that along."
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After beating the Tigers, the Warriors can achieve back-to-back wins for the first time this season when they face Manly on Friday.
"It would be hugely beneficial for everyone here [in camp on the Central Coast] and everyone back home," Payten said.
"There's a spring in the step of everyone at training. I didn't think we trained too well on Monday, I thought we were a little frantic, but we've calmed down and we put in a good session today.
"I know we're playing a team at Brookvale who are specialists at ambushing teams. So we know what to expect."