Do not believe everything you read would seem to be the message Penrith Panthers player James Maloney is sending in the wake of reports that he does not get along well with Nathan Cleary.
Maloney will be out until finals, nursing a knee injury, which left him with some spare moments to speak out of Fox Sports’ Big League Wrap.
“I don’t know where that has come from because I don’t read the papers,” Maloney said.“I’d be very surprised how something like that has come about.I’ve got a really good relationship with Nathan and we were out at training talking through everything we wanted to do today with Ciro (Cameron Ciraldo).
Does Maloney have to make nice in the even Nathan’s dad joins on as the Panthers’ coach?
The Panthers’ ill-timed sacking of Anthony Griffin has led to all manner of speculation, none of it positive.
Maloney claimed to put distance between himself and the din of the media, ironically using that same media to gain the needed distance.
“I don’t think I see half the stuff that goes on because I don’t read the papers, so I’m just oblivious to it all.That’s how I’ve always been, I don’t buy into all of the talk, so it doesn’t bother me.”
Maloney’s comments came after the Panthers lost to the Knights, despite his claims that the team was properly prepared by interim Coach Cameron Ciraldo.
The affair with Griffin and the noise swirling around the purported rift between Maloney and Cleary are precisely the sorts of things a team heading into the Telstra 2018 NRL Premiership competition finals would prefer to avoid.
That may be something the big thinkers at the top would have been wise to take into account before axing a coach who had his club securely inside finals, but their large thoughts may have been suffering a break in concentration due to the distractions that rise to a higher pitch in the run up to finals.
They would have been wise to adopt Maloney’s policy.