They have lost Darius Boyd, Mark Gasnier and perhaps most importantly, Wayne Bennett – not to mention the young players learning the trades in key positions to play first-grade, but despite all that, new Dragons coach Steve Price says that that is exactly the position he wants his side to be in.

“The bookies are writing us off at the moment, but that’s one thing we don’t look at, mate,” says Steve Price.

“I know the players don’t look at that kind of stuff. We can’t control what other people think. We can only control what we do each week. It’s important that every time we walk off the field we’ve given the best of our ability.

“Everyone’s entitled to their opinion. But we’re very confident with the players we’ve recruited. And the senior footy group we’ve got is outstanding. They certainly drive the value and traditions of what we’re trying to achieve.”

With two seasons to solidify his stance at the Dragons, Price knows that he needs to have the Dragons playing finals footy, and he will make sure that his authority on the side is known at all times.

“Definitely, I do want to stamp myself on the side,” he says. “But there were some really terrific values I learnt from Wayne and I certainly haven’t forgotten them. There’s a hell of a lot of good things we’ve done in the last three years.

“However, there’s a few things that I have implemented. As we go along in the season, there are a few things that people will see.”

With Price, there are no illusions and no tricks – he is a man that hides behind no facade.

“I’m just a straight-up guy,” Price says. “What you get is what you see.”

By ricky

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