Hull Kingston Rovers head coach Chris Chester has admitted that he won’t be at the club next year if the club’s fortunes don’t improve.
Despite a superb run to the Challenge Cup final, the Robins missed out on their primary goal of making the top eight, eventually having to settle for a safe passage through the Qualifiers.
Chester himself has taken responsibility for his team’s shortcomings, with their 38-6 defeat to Huddersfield on Sunday not helping take the pressure away from him in the build-up to the start of the Super League season.
And the message is quite simple from Chester – both he and his players must get better.
“I’m a pretty honest guy. I say it as I see it and I’ve certainly got to improve in 2016 – as we all do,” Chester told the Hull Daily Mail.
“I just think that I have got to improve. My words (at KR’s Player of the Year awards) were that if I don’t improve, I won’t be here in 2017.
“I made a lot of mistakes last year. I’m the first to put my hand up and it’s important that I don’t make those same mistakes this year. All my staff and players do too.
“We missed out on the top-eight, it wasn’t acceptable. It was disappointing, but on the flip-side we got to a Cup final, and went one step further than we set out to do.
“Overall, last year was a hell of a great journey. I can’t wait for another journey this year and I’m confident we can do that.”
Last year was Chester’s rookie year as a head coach, and although he is applying pressure on himself, he insists he has the full backing of the KR hierarchy.
“I’ve always had the support of the board. They’ve been great all year and I’ve had fantastic support from Neil and Rob,” he said.
“I get emails from (investors) John Keable in Russia and Anthony Langley too.
“But the one guy that has kept me grounded is Mike Smith. He’s been great with me, he knows when I’m not feeling great and he knows what to say to me.
“He’s an honest guy, he’s great to work with and has been a big help this year.
“I can’t thank them all enough for the opportunity that they’ve given me to coach this great side.”