Derek Beaumont Column: Can’t understand Jukes criticism

Leigh battled to victory against Batley last weekend

Leigh battled to victory against Batley last weekend

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Well we have now taken points from every team in our competition having managed to overturn a very spirited and well-drilled Batley side at LSV on Sunday.

This leaves us sat at the top of the Kingstone Press Championship.

It therefore came as a massive shock to learn that a number of people via social media were calling for me to sack Neil Jukes!

Now I have always been one for a bit of banter and a joke but these people are actually serious. Can you believe it?

Let me set my position out clear from the start Neil Jukes has my full and unequivocal support.

I completely believe in him having seen him operate under Paul at the club for two years, delivering most of the sessions I witnessed.

He has dealt with an unbelievable amount of issues directed at the club and maintained strong throughout them, showing excellent 
management skills and most importantly has the full support of those whom he coaches.

The majority of these people have experienced rugby on the international stage so know how they should be coached and can certainly recognise if something is wrong. Let’s not forget there are a significant number of players that have joined the club, not to play championship rugby but to buy into my vision – to be part of something special taking Leigh Centurions into Super League where they can then ply their trade in an environment that they are extremely happy in.

They certainly don’t want to be continuing their careers in the Championship, so given I have a direct and open relationship with the players, I am more than sure that if they felt the wrong person was leading them affecting their chances of achieving their goals at least one of them would make that known to me.

Now don’t get me wrong I am not saying we are playing perfect rugby and realising our potential because it is abundantly clear that we are not but it is not Neil Jukes who is knocking on or missing tackles.

The lads are working hard and there is still plenty to do. What is important is that Neil knows this and communicates this to the lads and I see that happening week-in, week-out.

I also think that some people underestimate the other teams in the competition and think that there is such a difference between full-time and part-time players. There simply isn’t.

There is only so much training you can do in a week and most part-time clubs work hard to maximise that.

Of course there is an advantage to it but it isn’t as big as some might think, including me, in the first instance.

If we take Batley for example there is no doubt that the highly respected John Kear will have had them champing at the bit knowing that our lads were looking to right a wrong from that first game of the season.

They also have some very good players of their own, well guided round the field by Brambani, and were coming to us on the back of a few defeats.

That cannot be underestimated and I am sure that Catalans Dragons, a team well worthy of their top four Super League position, will find out themselves just how hard the Championship is.

While we need to improve and we may not be playing the flamboyant stuff the fans have become accustomed to, we are playing to our strengths and I believe playing a more direct brand of rugby which will have more chance of success come the middle eights.

Neil has yet to have had a week where he has had more than two decisions to make on selecting his team due to injuries. On Sunday we had Fui, Cory, Willie, the two Gregs and Dicko all unavailable for selection.

Furthermore Neil has been tirelessly working along with Ando doing the work previously shared by four.

This has been addressed and Neil will have an additional assistant join him shortly with a further addition later in the year.

We need to be patient and believe in how the club is run.

I am investing a lot of money into the club every month and am smart enough to ensure I have the right people working for me.

Unfortunately it is not possible to always inform the fans of what you are doing or what you know – and that is business, that is life, that is sport.

As a supporter of a club you are extremely important and obviously entitled to opinion and discussion but never lose sight of the fact you are a supporter and to that end support what the club is doing and those in their roles doing it as in the end that is your role.

You are part of our team you are the very reason the club exists.

Don’t fail in the part you play. Stay true, stay loyal keep believing stay part of our TEAM as Together Everyone Achieves More.

On Saturday I enjoyed the hospitality of my friend Marwan watching them earn what ended up a hard fought victory over Hull 
KR.

Naturally I quizzed him over the recent points deduction that has been handed to him and while I cannot go into the nuts and bolts as it is subject to appeal I do have to say I find the punishment harsh even if what is alleged happened.

Harsher than that however in my opinion are the words of Gary Hetherington labelling Salford outright 
cheats.

Now unless he was at the hearing or has an inside 
informant he surely cannot be privy to the facts to be able to make such a comment and I wonder if the RFL are indeed looking into those comments and how he feels they can be substantiated.

Both myself, Marwan and Neil Hudgell, who also made reference to Gary’s comments, have fell foul of the operational rules with regards to things we have said and those rules are surely applicable to all.

As I left Marwan I saw him write his rather apt tweet to Gary advising he should perhaps divert his sorrow to 
his own fans rather than Salford’s, which under the circumstances is probably sound advice.