Slow start won’t stop Cowboys: Green
COACH Paul Green has scoffed at suggestions North Queensland's season could be on the line when they host the Bulldogs at 1300SMILES Stadium on Saturday night.
The Cowboys are looking to avoid five-straight losses for the first time under Green's tutelage and history is not in their favour should the side tipped by many as premiership favourites slump to a 1-5 record.
According to Fox Sports stats, only seven teams in the NRL era have played finals after posting just one win from their first six games and none have gone on to make the grand final.
Green was quick to point out that the Cowboys already defied history in 2015 when they become the first team to win a premiership after losing their first three games since compulsory grand finals were introduced in 1954.
The Cowboys were also just the second team to make the grand final from eighth place last season and Green was adamant they won't stress over statistics as they prepare for the Bulldogs.
"I love when people trot out stats," a sardonic Green said.
"They said in 2015 that no team has won a comp for 50 years or whatever when they lose their first three too. I don't read too much into that.
"We've been in a similar position to this before so it's about what we do on the field. It's not about what history will tell us can or can't happen."
The Cowboys are already under the pump even before the Bulldogs clash, with the Roosters in 2002 the only grand final winners to recover from a 1-4 start.
Five-eighth Michael Morgan conceded it had been a "rough month of footy" in North Queensland, but he insisted that they were far from a spent force.
"In no way are we in panic stations or anything like that. We know we're not playing the way we should be and we'll keep working towards where we can get," Morgan said.
"Every season's different. You look at the ladder and the teams that are going well or have lost a few, it's completely different to what a lot of people thought.
"That's the way the NRL is, any team on their day can have a win. We're trying to get back to our best and we'll keep working until we do reach that. "
The Bulldogs will be just as desperate as the Cowboys with only one win on the board in 2018, but Green said he would keep the focus on his own team following their promising effort in last weekend's 22-12 loss to the Warriors in New Zealand.
"I'm not too sure about them (the Bulldogs). I'm more concerned about us at the moment and that's where our focus is," Green said.
"We weren't too far off last weekend. Our start didn't help us, but we played a lot of good footy in there as well against a team that is full of confidence in the Warriors.
"It just gives that evidence that our game is good enough when we execute it properly. That's what we've got to take out of that game."