The Tigers have stuttered their way to a 2-4 start to the 2014 season. It doesn’t get any easier with Geelong this week, and despite a string of winnable games after their bye the Tigers are facing some serious heat.
Neither of their two wins, over a battling Carlton side and the Brisbane Lions, were convincing. In his fifth season in charge, coach Damien Hardwick needs to find a new gear.
Hardwick has coached the club since the 2010 season, with just one finals appearance to boast of in that time. The 2013 season saw the Tigers finish fifth, winning 15 games and competing in that elusive finals series – the first for the club since 2001.
Should the Tigers fail to play finals this year, Hardwick may not be the man beyond 2014.
As good a coach as I think he is, and as much as I value his hard-nosed, tough approach, ‘Dimma’ simply has to find a way to get his side right up there.
Michael Voss coached the Brisbane Lions for five seasons and only took his side in September action once. As a result, he was sacked.
How long are the Tigers willing to persist with a man who has so far failed to bring them the success their fans deeply desire?
Granted, it’s very easy to point the finger at the coach in such times. Their poor list management and ‘interesting’ recruiting has not helped their cause, so Hardwick is not entirely to blame.
But as we’ve seen so many times in the past, on-field disappointment often leads to a coaching change.
If Richmond don’t play finals football in 2014, there is no doubt the club will be contemplating the future of their coach.