Anthony Griffin insists nothing has changed in his bid to keep his job at St George Illawarra, claiming questions over his future as coach should be directed to the club's board.
Griffin spoke on Saturday morning for the first time since it emerged he had been told by the Dragons they were canvassing options for next year, with Griffin off contract this season.
The Dragons mentor appeared frustrated the story had leaked out, but was not critical of the fact his future was making news after just two matches into the season.
He also attempted to brush aside any concerns he had over his job security, with the Dragons missing finals in his first two years in charge and several young players requesting releases before opting to stay.
"I'll speak about it straight away, that stuff has come from the board. I have a job to do here, I started the year off contract, so nothing has changed there," Griffin said.
"I'm enjoying my job, we have a great playing group that's looking for a good season.
"Any other questions you'll have to speak to where that story came from.
"That's all I want to talk about today."
AAP has been told the Dragons assured Griffin last month the desire to check the availability of possible options was not a death knell for him, and he still had some chance of coaching the club in 2024.
Instead, officials believed they were being up front with the coach by informing him of the club's decision while not leaving themselves short on possible options for next year.
No formal interviews will begin until a final call is made on Griffin's future, with that timeline not yet set in stone but likely over the coming months based on team performance.
Dragons players first learnt of the situation this week ahead of Sunday's derby with Cronulla, and Griffin said he would soon know whether the issue served as a distraction for them.
"You'll see that it in their performance. You'd have to ask them," he said.
"They just need to play well tomorrow."
Griffin is, however, adamant the club is on an upward trajectory after a first-up win over Gold Coast off the round-one bye, before fading late against Brisbane.
"I was really proud of the performance against Brisbane last week. We got blown away in the last seven or eight minutes and there were reasons for that," Griffin said.
"But I think you saw last night the quality of that game (Broncos and Dolphins). I have no doubt we're going to improve off that and be better than that.
"We did a good job on the Titans in round two. It's been a really promising start to the year for the players and us."
Australian Associated Press
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