McGregor ready to make tough decisions

RUGBY LEAGUE

Dragons coach Paul McGregor.

Dragons coach Paul McGregor.

The Dragons are still clinging to hope of reaching the finals this year, but Paul McGregor admits plenty needs to change to become a premiership force again.

The Dragons boosted their playoffs hopes with a 34-6 win over the Titans at Kogarah on Sunday, just two days after the announcement that McGregor had signed a three-year deal to coach the club. Racking up 34 points for the second consecutive week helped their cause further, though, at -21, their points differential could yet return to haunt them.

McGregor insisted his priority is still getting the club to the finals this year, but said it was important he started to look towards 2015 and beyond - including potential forays into the recruitment market.

"We haven't made the finals yet and we're still continuing this year to try and do that. I don't want to jump at shadows, what I need to do is what I have been doing, which is working hard with the group I've got," McGregor said.

"But, to look to the future, I need to have a really good look at what needs to change.

"I haven't looked deep into the roster and the salary cap but that will be happening over the next month. But what I also need to do is have an in-depth look at our football department, right through from the juniors to the senior structure and once I do that I'll know what's next.

"Nothing can be taken for granted. If tough decisions need to be made for the future of this club, then I'm comfortable making those decisions."

While regular finals apperances are the obvious goal McGregor, just days into the long-term role, was loath to set himself specific targets.

"Certainly [finals] is where we want to be - that's where everyone wants to be - but I'm not going to commit to X, Y, Z," he said.

"We play in a tough competition and we've got a lot of good kids coming through and the team is at a development stage.

"What I am going to commit to is improving this football team and this club to get it back to where it needs to be."

While his rise from Illawarra Coal League premiership winner two years ago to NRL head coach appears a rapid one, McGregor said he will need to draw on two decades worth of experience in various playing and coaching roles to transform the club.

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