New system won't be Groundhog day for Reds

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Reds co-coaches Matt O’Connor and Nick Stiles are confident they can break through the “honeymoon’ period that comes with change.

The pair will coach for the first time at AAMI Park this weekend and O’Connor said their focus was on bringing positive change in the long-term.

O’Connor promised the Reds’ season wouldn’t simply be “Groundhog Day”, but rather they were aiming for improvement over the remaining weeks.

“There’s a freshness for freshness sake (with coaching change) because the players need to see that aesthetically more than anything,” he said.

“So it is a little bit different it is a bit vibrant, it’s not Groundhog Day.

“How people do things comes down to the individual. It’s not systems it’s process, it’s about personality and how you get the best out of individuals.

The way Stilesy and I go about getting the best out of individuals is slightly different to Richard but we’ll see (and) performances will show whether it’s working or not.

While plenty of teams have rebounded after a coaching shuffle, O’Connor said the key was to make sure it lasted longer than just 80 minutes in Melbourne.

“We think we’re  good enough to win this weekend.

“It’s very easy to get a rebound in week one but the important thing for us is we’ve got an exciting young group.

“The challenge for us is to be better not just this week but each week for the rest of the season.”

It’s not just about wins and losses, though, with pride a major factor for Queensland.

“It’s about those blokes being able to look the mirror and be happy with their performance,” he said.

The Reds travel to Melbourne to face the rebels at AAMI Park, against a team that includes former Reds, headlined by recent additions James Hanson and Adam Thomson.