How Tony Smith reacted to Hull FC exit as owner Adam Pearson explains mitigating factors and why now

TONY SMITH reacted to his Hull FC exit in “a gracious manner”, owner Adam Pearson has revealed.

Smith, who had been at the helm at the MKM Stadium for 18 months, departed the club on Thursday after a dismal run of results saw the Black and Whites 11th in the Super League table and out of the Challenge Cup at the first stage.

For Pearson, he felt that the time was right – with Hull currently having a break from action due to the Challenge Cup quarter-finals – to go in another direction.

“It’s been an extremely disappointing start to the season, it’s never easy when you part company with a coach particularly one with the track record of Tony,” Pearson told BBC Radio Humberside.

“I just felt things had come to a head and the pressure had come too great around the club and we needed to relieve that pressure and go in a new direction.

“It’s not ideal, I’m in discussions with people about various things so they have an input too but I felt that the time was right with the two-week gap in the season to sort things out, restructure and go again.”

In terms of how Smith reacted to the news, Pearson revealed his disappointment.

“Unfortunately, the manner of the defeats have got worse. They are not acceptable and unfortunately it’s Tony who has bore the brunt of that and it’s not great.

“It’s my job to make decisions and I decided to make that call. The end was amicable, Tony handled it in a professional manner but I think a mutual decision covers a number of causes.

“He wasn’t happy about it at all. He thought he had unfinished business and that he still had a job to do. He wasn’t happy and I respect that. He handled himself in a gracious manner but I could tell he was disappointed and hurt by it.”

Though results continued to snowball, Pearson does feel that there were mitigating factors at play for Smith to contend with.

“I was looking to try and keep him in place as long as possible but I felt he got to that point where it wasn’t manageable anymore.

“There was too much nonsense and something had to give and in sport that is usually the head coach.

“There were mitigating factors undoubtedly. There is ann enormous amount of pressure on Jake Trueman, to have your marquee player on the sidelines for two years is a significant blow. Carlos Tuimavave is a blow as well so 25 per cent of our cap is on the sidelines.

“We haven’t helped ourselves with ill-discipline and our defence hasn’t been good enough so eventually I’ve had to take action. Bringing in a number 7 and partnering him with Jake Trueman will undoubtedly help that.”

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