Brisbane great Shane Webcke has defended Anthony Seibold, saying the besieged NRL coach has been placed under enormous pressure after Wayne Bennett was not allowed to leave the Broncos on his own terms.
Ex-Bronco Glenn Lazarus has become the latest to have a crack at Seibold after Brisbane slumped to their worst season start since 1999, saying the battling mentor is "deluded".
But Webcke felt for Seibold, saying the coach was on a hiding to nothing in his first year at the Brisbane helm after the Broncos ditched Bennett at the end of 2018.
After a messy departure, seven-time premiership winner Bennett was quickly snapped up by South Sydney who sit fourth with a 5-1 record compared to Seibold's third-last Broncos (1-5).
"I feel empathy for him (Seibold), not that he is looking for it, but it's a tough gig," Webcke told AAP.
"The club decided that Wayne wasn't the right fit anymore and more or less sacked him.
"What that indicates is that they have made a decision and are going for something better.
"The problem of the club doing that is they have immediately heaped an enormous amount of pressure on Seibold.
"Wrongly people are looking at Wayne at Souths and seeing the good start he has had and looking at Seibs and their poor start and say 'why did they change?'
"But it was inevitable."
Webcke said critics would have been more forgiving of a poor start by Seibold at Red Hill if the Broncos had granted Bennett's wish for one more season at the Brisbane helm.
"Let's say Wayne got his extra year. If Wayne had left on his own accord and Seibs becomes the next coach then people are a lot more forgiving of that scenario," he said.
"It would be his first time in charge of a club like this, he's a rookie coach, you give him a bit more time."
Lazarus has not been very forgiving, saying Seibold sounded "deluded" after asking Broncos fans to show patience in his young team and refusing to make changes following their horror season start.
"He's signed a five-year contract with probably the most scrutinised (teams) ....I think he's deluded in some ways, some of the comments he's saying," Lazarus told Macquarie Sports Radio.
"They're just not winning games and it's becoming consistent.
"Something needs to change. They cannot continue down this path of playing the same team week in, week out and getting the same result."
© AAP 2019