Leeds head coach Brian McDermott has dropped the biggest hint yet that he will remain in charge of the Rhinos in 2017.
McDermott, who is on a rolling contract with the 2015 champions, has been linked with the vacancy at Hull KR, Leeds’ opponents in the last match of the regular Super League season tonight.
“I neither deny nor confirm those rumours,” McDermott told his weekly press conference at Headingley before stressing his wish to be part of a brighter future at Rhinos following their failure to finish in the top eight this year.
“We’ve all been through an experience this club has never been through before and, if you can come through the other side, there is a vast amount to learn and you will be far better for it,” he said.
“But most coaches go through this type of turmoil and never get to learn those lessons because they either duck out and resign or the club sacks them.
“What we’ve done is go through that really tough moment together.
“The club has held its nerve, although it’s certainly asked questions.
“We’ve got a season review to go through and there will be some tough questions to ask but we’re going to come out of it in absolutely far better shape. Our team is going to be really healthy next year.
“That’s not to say we’re going to win every game but some of the toughness that the fellas have had to show this year will make them stronger.
“You wouldn’t plan it but, once you come through it, you’re glad it’s happened.”
Although McDermott’s men have endured their worst season for 20 years, they have re-discovered their form with four wins from their last five matches.
McDermott is hoping to take that form into the Middle 8s Qualifiers.
“We can finish ninth and that’s hugely important because we get more home games and we want to play as many home games as we can,” he said.
“There is still a scenario where we can finish bottom and we don’t want to do that.”