As they aim to take a significant step towards a return to the Challenge Cup final this afternoon, Warrington captain Chris Hill has admitted that they did need a change of coach to reinvigorate them.
The Wolves host Wigan in arguably the standout tie of the 2018 quarter-finals, with the winners just one win away from Wembley and the August Bank Holiday final.
Smith guided Warrington to one of the most successful eras in the club’s history but, after disappointment last year resulted in Steve Price taking over at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, Hill admits that came at a good time for everyone.
“It just needed a change, and Tony probably knew that as well,” Hill said.
“Steve has just come in and shuffled it all up. He’s brilliant on the field, he’s really intense but off the field, he’ll have a laugh with the boys.
“He’s got a real good relationship with the boys and he’s an open door, you know you can go see him anytime. He’s in the middle of training with his dodgy knee, too!”
Hill also believes that Warrington will have to learn lessons from their recent defeat at Magic Weekend to Wigan to stand any chance of making the semi-finals this weekend.
“We’ve got to learn from the past. We weren’t good enough at Magic Weekend; they out-smarted us and out-played us really,” he said.
“It still hurts, but that’s the nature of the game. You never want to lose, especially to a rival like that and the manner we did it, in front of other clubs. Luckily we bounced back last week; we weren’t the best for the first 40 but we got it together in the last 40.”
“We’re not the finished article by a long way. We’ve shown glimpses, probably for 60 minutes what we can do, but I don’t think we’ve done it for 80 minutes yet and blown someone off the park.
“There will be no better week to do it than this week – but it will be a lot tougher blowing Wigan off the park. We’ve got to stay in the grind and not give some stupid penalties and stupid ball away.”