Bulldogs put faith in Pay

Canterbury Bulldogs have moved to end speculation over the future of head coach Dean Pay by handing him a contract extension until the end of the 2020 season.

The Bulldogs finished 12th in Pay's first campaign at the helm and have begun this term in dismal fashion, suffering heavy defeats to New Zealand Warriors and Parramatta Eels.

However, the club have determined it would be unfair to judge Pay on his current record, with chairwoman Lynne Anderson referencing the fact he inherited "a squad and a salary cap situation that were not of his making".

Pay succeeded Des Hasler ahead of the 2018 season, but has had limited salary cap space to deal with and seen a number of star players depart.

Canterbury CEO Andrew Hill said: "The Bulldogs are a club that absolutely believes in supporting our people to be the best they can be. We believe it is important to give Dean the backing to lead our young squad forward. Our role as a club is to provide Dean with the best possible environment to succeed.

"By extending his contract we are showing the faith in him that is a crucial part of that process.

"The NRL is generally not a patient sport, but that said, some things simply take time. Giving a coach only 12 months with an inherited squad and several challenges was not an option for the current board and management."

Canterbury face Wests Tigers on Sunday, with Pay having made several changes to his squad in response to their poor start.

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