Wakefield Trinity head coach Chris Chester fears rugby league is becoming too much like football with its propensity to sack coaches quickly.
Leeds Rhinos parted company with Dave Furner earlier this week just 14 games into a three-year contract.
The Australian’s removal comes after three Championship coaches – Halifax’s Richard Marshall, Workington Town’s Leon Pryce and Rochdale Hornets’ Carl Forster – also lost their jobs early in the year.
Leeds sit tenth in Super League with just four wins, but Chester said: “I was very surprised. I thought it was a little bit too early. He’s got a squad there that is probably low on confidence, but it’s the modern game.
“It’s tough. It’s just the business we find ourselves in. I wish Dave well. I texted him yesterday and hopefully I’ll catch up with him before he goes back to Oz.”
Chester, a former team-mate of Furner’s at Wigan, was sacked by Hull KR just three games into the 2016 season.
However, he was soon recruited by Wakefield chairman (now CEO) Michael Carter and transformed their fortunes, finishing fifth in each of the last two campaigns.
Asked if it is getting too much like football, Chester replied: “Yes, probably.
“I think Michael (Carter) has got it right, but I’m biased; you have got to have a bit of patience.
“After the 2016 Challenge Cup semi-final we lost nine on the bounce including the Super 8s.
“Michael could easily have just said ‘enough’s enough’.
“But he stuck by me, we got the recruitment right and it’s been very positive since then.”
Chester, whose side are up to third ahead of tonight’s Challenge Cup tie against Widnes Vikings, added: “It’s a tough position to be in (when sacked).
“It’s a very lonely position when things aren’t going particularly well. You think about a lot of things and question yourself and I’m sure Dave has over the last few weeks.
“But it’s just a time issue. He probably just needed a bit more time and maybe needed a few more players.
“(But) players win you games, coaches lose them. That’s how it’s always been and always will be. It’s cut-throat.”