Kelly fears for job after thrashing by Hull

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Widnes spent what should have been their day off in soul-searching yesterday after the club's record defeat at Hull.

Widnes spent what should have been their day off in soul-searching yesterday after the club's record defeat at Hull.

The Vikings were thrashed 70-4 on Monday, leaving their coach, Neil Kelly, so angry that he accused his players of defrauding the public.

"You don't feel comfortable taking time off after something like that," said Kelly after bringing in the players for extra training at 8.30am. "It was the worst thing I've been involved with in the game.

"I'm looking at changes, but the real failing was in attitude. I thought our attitude was appalling. I feel sorry for the fans and everyone who has worked hard in the Vikings' staff. The club has been going for 125 years or so and we have just turned in the worst defeat in the club's history," he added.

Kelly admits that a defeat of that magnitude inevitably puts him under pressure to keep his job. "I've got to be worried. I'm still out of contract at the end of the season and while we're performing like that, I wouldn't expect the board to be considering an extension to my contract," he said.

The Widnes captain, Andy Hay, said the players blamed themselves for the disaster at the KC Stadium. "Everything that Neil organised in our preparation was good, but after about 20 minutes it just got embarrassing. It got worse and worse and we just wanted the hooter to go," said Hay, who admitted that there had been squabbling on the pitch, with players blaming each other for the débâcle.

"We've got to play as a team, but we were like a bunch of individuals," he said. "We've got some good players, but no one who's good enough to win a match on his own. That's what we've got to understand." Their next game is at home to local rivals Warrington on Sunday.

Hull have explained that their winger, Gareth Raynor, was left out of the side against Widnes for disciplinary reasons. Raynor is thought to have missed a training session.

The St Helens coach, Ian Millward, says he will not rush Keiron Cunningham, the Great Britain hooker, back into action after a leg injury for Friday's derby at Wigan. "I'm being very conservative with it, because I don't want it to become a long-term problem," he said.

South Sydney, who are bottom of the National Rugby League in Australia, have sacked their coach, Paul Langmack.

The reserve coach, Arthur Kitinas, has been appointed for the rest of the season, but the club is inviting applications for 2005. Millward has been linked with the job, but says that he is not interested.