Anthony Griffin has hit back at Phil Gould in an explosive interview addressing his shock sacking from Penrith a month out from the NRL finals.
In his role as Panthers general manager, Gould nominated Griffin's "old-school approach" to coaching as the prime reason for his axing on Monday.
But - while stressing he was not out to assassinate Gould's character - Griffin had his own shot back on Wednesday night.
"Gus (Gould) hasn't coached for 20 years. He hasn't had his head in the fire for 20 years. If there's anyone old school in the conversation ... he'd need to be there as well," Griffin told NRL 360 on Fox Sports.
"I've got my own methods. I've been in the business now for six or seven years and part of (being) a coach, you need to have a belief in yourself and your strengths.
"But I wouldn't be sitting here today if I didn't know what I was doing and if I didn't have a team over three years (that progressed from) playing off for a wooden spoon to finishing sixth, sixth and now being a genuine premiership contenders.
"So if that's old school, I'll take it any day."
The now unemployed 51-year-old said he publicly responded to his sacking for the sake of his family.
Griffin said Gould's claim that the coach had lost the dressing room was merely "spin" to justify his sacking to the Panthers board.
"I can handle getting axed but suggestions that I don't get on with the players is absolute rubbish," Griffin said, backing up what star playmaker James Maloney said on Tuesday.
"I've had a great relationship with the players ... I've spoken to most of the players on the phone. I've had some nice text messages."
Griffin also suggested Gould, not him, was the control freak that caused their fractured relationship and denied Gould's claims that he failed to utilise his assistants enough.
"My relationship with Gus was very good at the start and he's got a brilliant football brain," Griffin said.
"One of the main reasons I did come down was to work with him and obviously he's a different style of football brain to me and I learned some things off him and he was really good to work with.
"But ... I understand how brutal our game is, so we can spin it as much as we like about why or when, but why I'm not coaching anymore is because we had a difference in philosophy on how the team should be coached - not the structure or the use of staff or anything like that.
"The suggestion that I didn't involve staff is totally untrue."
Griffin declared his near-three-season tenure at Penrith as "very successful" and said he'd done everything - and more - asked of him when Gould head-hunted him to take charge of the Panthers in 2016.
"I was brought in to do a job from the inside out. Or that was my vision for the players - and it's happening," Griffin said.
"I know something Gus said about the next level or we couldn't go to the next level (under my coaching). Well, we're at the next level and we're there quicker than I thought we would be.
"They're a real good chance of winning the comp this year - and we've done that mainly with players we've produced."