West Coast have issued an ironclad guarantee that embattled coach John Worsfold will serve out his existing contract.
Chief executive Trevor Nisbett yesterday declared the two-time premiership captain would coach the club until at least the end of 2011.
Worsfold has come under mounting pressure as a result of the club's poor start to the season, with former Eagles chairman Murray McHenry among a host of critics to speculate on the 2006 premiership coach's future. The Eagles are 14th with three wins and seven losses.
The assertion by Worsfold that his playing squad is capable of challenging for a fourth premiership by 2012 has come under question as the Eagles face the possibility of more short-term pain against league leaders Geelong at Subiaco Oval on Saturday night.
Nisbett yesterday moved to douse speculation over Worsfold's future, confirming the board's support for the coach in a statement released late yesterday on the club's website.
"John is contracted to coach until the end of the 2011 season and he will coach our club until at least then," Nisbett said.
"When you don't win games in this business, everyone at the football club is under pressure and of course John is feeling that pressure as he wants our team performing to its optimum. Speculation about John's future is a nonsense.
"We have faith in our coaching structure, have confidence in the direction we are taking and are looking forward to watching the development of our list in coming seasons.
"We understand that a number of our supporters are frustrated that we are not winning games and may have some doubts about the direction we are taking with our club.
"We would all like our improvement to be more rapid but to build anything of substance takes time.
"The West Coast Eagles board backed John and his coaching staff last year when we extended his contract and we maintain our confidence in John and his team."
West Coast did not fail to play finals in Worsfold's first six seasons as coach but are now staring down the barrel of a third consecutive season outside the top eight after finishing 15th in 2008 and 11th last season.
Worsfold told Seven News last night he understood the speculation but it did not alter where he stood with the club.
"I speak to Trevor a lot more regularly than via statements, so nothing really changes from the position that I believe myself and the club are in," he said.
Dual Eagles premiership defender Glen Jakovich said the club's response was a good move, saying fans needed to be kept informed.
"The club's always been strong and galvanised … that's why they've had such a successful period through their existence in the AFL," Jakovich said.
"They've had some tough issues and they've always come out of it the other end."
Despite the Eagles' record, Worsfold consistently has backed his young squad this season and forward Mark LeCras yesterday returned the favour, claiming the playing group was largely responsible for the Eagles' demise this season, not the coach.
"I'll back Woosha in any day of the week," LeCras said.