New Zealand forward Adam Blair has responded to criticism from caretaker coach Todd Payten, agreeing that his performance last weekend against Cronulla was ‘below par’.
34 years of disappointment in the loss of 46-10 in round 10, making only 50 meters and losing four tackles.
Blair’s appearance attracted Payten’s anger, which he considered “unacceptable” and has now dropped him on the bench for this weekend.
But the veteran was honest when asked about how he played, agreed with his coach.
“I am my own worst critic, and I don’t think my performance in last week’s match was up to my standards,” he said.
“I just had a wise soccer day, and I’ve talked to Toddy and Toddy has mentioned that too. We’ve talked about what he wants to move forward from me, and he says he wants me on the bench and working on it again .
“Defensively, I’m far away where I should be, and I’m proud of the defense. That’s the only conversation I have with Toddy is about the urgency around the commotion, getting out quickly and helping the line out, and keeping my contact close.
“I do not see these items in public. Todd came to me the next day and talked to me about it – that was how it was. I know that it’s below the standard for someone of my caliber and what I’ve done in the game.
“I don’t need Toddy to tell me that I look bad, I know that.”
Blair is the last year of a three-year contract at the Warriors, but has the option for him next year.
When asked whether ongoing speculation about his future was the reason for his appearance, Blair immediately closed it.
“I already knew about that for a moment. “I don’t think it affects my performance … I have played a lot of football and I understand this is business and this is how it works,” he said.
“I missed the details about what I needed to do on the weekend. It was not the coach’s fault, it was my fault.
“Everything starts working in the background. Whether it’s playing or finishing … I want to make sure I enjoy the rest of my time here with this group.”
Blair is not the only player at a club whose future is clouded, with a playmaker Blake Green was told that he would not be re-signed this past season.
The former Kiwi international was open when asked about whether he would take his choice or hang up his shoes by the end of 2020.
“I never thought of opting out,” he said.
“We are going through unique times and are in a difficult position … I don’t know what I’m doing, I just want to make sure I enjoy what is left now.
“The Super League never crossed my mind. I think I have a very good career in what I have done. I signed a contract with the Warriors for three years with an option because I felt it would be my time.
“If that means this year is my last year or I’m taking an option at the Warriors, then be. I’m not saying that I won’t go to another club – it would be silly to just delete it outside.
“I feel physically and mentally I have something that I can offer to the young forward.
“I am an easy target to be honest. Whether it’s on the field, outside the field or at contract time – I find that there is always a conversation around me. This time, it’s retired or an option.
“I can’t control what you write or what people say. Throughout my career, I have had many people say good and bad things – but that has never changed how I am as a person or the way I play.”
The Warriors will take favorites in the premier league and defend the inaugural Sydney Roosters on Saturday.
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