Tensions between Newcastle Jets boss Phil Stubbins and his outcast players blew up at training again today, with former star striker Joel Griffiths yelling "Have some f***ing respect!" at the coach.
Five senior players - Griffiths, David Carney, Kew Jaliens, Adrian Madaschi and Billy Celeski - have been club outcasts since they were told to leave the Jets last month by Stubbins and owner Nathan Tinkler, but have remained on the periphery until a contract stalemate is resolved.
As training began yesterday, Jaliens, Madaschi and Celeski - wearing their full kit - left the playing fields at Ray Watt Oval together in Jaliens's Hyundai car.
But Griffiths and Carney looked like they might be back onside with management as training began, with both included in the early training drills with the main group of players.
However as the squad moved across the playing fields to the next drill, Griffiths and Carney were told to leave the main group and return to training by themselves.
Clearly frustrated, Griffiths unleashed his anger at Stubbins, shouting abuse at the coach who didn't even look back at the player.
The pair were sent to the opposite side of the field to practice their dribbling and shooting. "Do we even get a keeper?" muttered Griffiths as they made their way across the field, slamming footballs into the ground in fury.
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Stubbins later downplayed the incident.
"We've just had what we've had," he said "The same's been happening every day at training. The players have obligations to their contracts we have obligations to the club and we are trying to fulfil them as best we can and just get through it.
"The sooner we can put an end to it and everyone can get a general direction of where they're going with some clarity, then I think it's going to be better for everybody."
He denied the atmosphere at training was toxic but conceded: "I think there is some angst from the boys unable to be a full part of everything moving forward. It is what it is and we're managing it as best we can."
Stubbins refused to be drawn on whether the squad was stronger or weaker without Griffiths and Carney and the other outcasts.
"The squad is what it is at the moment. I'm just going to focus on the players we've got without commenting," he said. "We're not going to comment on players that aren't going to be available for the game. We'll be using the players that we used in the squad last week."
He admitted the circus on the sidelines was a distraction but said the negotiations were now for the club to resolve and he would be focusing on the football.
Stubbins added: "There's a lot of negativity going around at the moment but as a result of that we want bring something that is going to be positive for the club moving forward, and try to be sustainable moving forward.
"I've come to the club at a time when it was never going to be easy. There is a transition in place. We're not going to give up, we're going to keep fighting and we're going to do everything we can to get results."