SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 16: Tigers coach Tim Sheens watches on from the bench during the round three NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Wests Tigers at WIN Jubilee Stadium on March 16, 2012 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

The Wests Tigers had a horrendous 2021 season, and while they have been widely backed to claim the wooden spoon in 2022, new director of football Tim Sheens won't be taking it lying down.

It has been a tumultuous year for the Tigers, with the club finishing in the bottom four and speculation surrounding Michael Maguire reaching fever pitch.

The Tigers eventually guaranteed his position for 2022, while the club have also been forced to put out statement after statement clarifying Luke Brooks won't be exiting the club.

Now in an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Sheens has admitted Maguire needs to improve the Tigers, while also confirming Brooks won't be exiting the club.

"Of course we need to do better but for me it’s not just about making the eight. Not unless when you make the eight you’re a chance of winning the comp. You run eighth and then go out the back door week one," Sheens said.

"Everyone is under pressure. It’s a results-driven business and there are a lot of NRL coaches under pressure. The expectations of every club is to be successful. (North Queensland’s) Todd (Payten) and (Canterbury’s) Trent (Barrett) are under pressure. You actually embrace it but don’t coach or act that way. You can’t panic. Madge has got to improve us. Simple as that."

Wests Tigers coach Michael Maguire (Image:

Maguire struggled to get his team firing in the 2021 season, culminating in an embarrassing final-round loss to the Canterbury Bulldogs, while the club were also rolled by the Melbourne Storm mid-season, letting in 66 points.

Luke Brooks has been at the helm of the club on-field for the best part of a decade and now holds the unwanted record of most NRL caps without a finals appearance, but Sheens guaranteed he would be at the club for next season, while confirming he was happy to be there.

Sheens also seemed to drop a bombshell around the make-up of the Tigers halves, with Adam Doueihi, who is currently recovering from an ACL injury, set to be snubbed in favour of Jackson Hastings.

"Yes I guarantee it. He’s got two years on his contract," Sheens said.

"Is he happy to play? Yes. We discussed this with Brooksy and we discussed it with his agent. He’s getting on really well with Jackson (Hastings) who will probably start at six. He’s got a smile on his face."

When asked whether he had asked for a release to join Newcastle, Sheens gave an outright denial.

Sheens also clarified during the interview that the Tigers don't have as much cap space as people think, and that players are happy playing for Maguire.

The Tigers will open their 2022 season with a difficult clash against the Melbourne Storm.