DON'T GIVE UP ON US: Rebels coach Tony McGahan has pleaded with fans to stay loyal.
DON'T GIVE UP ON US: Rebels coach Tony McGahan has pleaded with fans to stay loyal. JOE CASTRO

Don't give up on us, pleads Rebels coach

MELBOURNE Rebels coach Tony McGahan has issued a rallying call to fans for Saturday's AAMI Park clash with Queensland.

But with the club's future hanging in the balance, McGahan said his bottom-of-the-table team has to give its supporters something to rally behind.

McGahan said the Rebels were under a pressure he had never felt before.

"It's a really difficult time and we need as much support as we can," McGahan said.

"It's difficult for people outside ... to really understand where people are at. We've been told it could be another six to eight weeks before a decision is made.

"So, as you can imagine, that puts a lot of unnecessary stress on everyone in the organisation.

"It's probably in the last couple of weeks where we can really feel it as it starts to affect people's livelihoods and where they want to be, with certain (contractual) windows closing both here and also overseas."

McGahan wants to see as many people in the stands tonight as possible.

But he understands that with just one win in nine games it's a hard ask.

"We've got to give them something as well," he said.

"That's really important to us and we didn't do that justice last week.

"To ask people to keep coming out and supporting us, we really need to make sure we play our part."

Asked if the club was under more pressure than ever, McGahan said: "Certainly in my time it is.

"I think if you asked most clubs ... it's a hard enough job to do at the best of times, let alone with the outside influences that are distracting us inside this environment."

While nothing is definitive, McGahan said he had heard of players exploring other playing options - and he doesn't blame them.

And while everyone is doing their best to deal with the stress of the situation that will see the Rebels or Western Force cut from Super Rugby, McGahan admitted he hasn't always handled it as well as he could.

"We all can relate," he said.

"Whether it's myself or Baden (Stephenson) in our roles as coach and general manager all the way down to a first-year (rookie), we're all affected in the same way.

"They might not all have wives or kids, but ... (with) job security, what's on next, what other options are out there, this affects every single person.

"People in commercial, people in media or ticketing, all of those roles are exactly the same."

News Corp Australia

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