Keiron Cunningham has brushed off criticism by Garry Schofield that St Helens lack quality players.
The former GB captain used is League Express column to take a shot at the 2014 champions.
Schofield said: “The St Helens thoroughbreds have long since left the building.
“They are now donkeys with no craft or skill, no class or quality.
“Too many have bulked up and have no mobility or pace. They’re so boring to watch.”
He took aim at Jon Wilkin for having “no pace and no vision” and said: “I can’t for the life of me see why Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook is still at the club.”
Cunningham wasn’t concerned with the remarks and pointed to Schofield’s lack of coaching experience.
He said: “Garry is a good guy and he has always been an idol of mine.
“He has played some good rugby in the past but has little coaching experience at Super League level and what it entails.
“Maybe I shouldn’t have risen to his comments but I suppose he has a right to make them and put-in a bit of controversy.”
Cunningham had not seen the article but pointed out the balance of his squad is shaped by salary cap restraints.
“If you don’t bring through four superstars from you own youth system you then have to try and get a good balance in your squad and that’s not always easy,” he said. “Neither is it easy to balance the books.”