North Queensland coach Paul Green has snapped at suggestions his side's poor form is related to their dramatic path to last season's NRL grand final.
The newly re-signed coach was in no mood for small talk ahead of Saturday's home clash with Gold Coast (3-3) as they attempt to snap a five-game losing streak.
"It was about six, eight months ago," Green said of the injury-hit side's unlikely charge to last season's decider.
"If we're still tired cause of what we did eight months ago we've got some problems there."
Green acknowledged making changes at training this week, but declined to elaborate on what they were.
"We've got to change something to snap out of what we've been doing ... starting poorly, making simple errors ... that have hurt us."
He believed the major problem was that the Cowboys were losing confidence when something went against them in matches.
In any case, Gold Coast's sorry run of five straight losses to North Queensland is enough to ensure the Titans aren't expecting anything to come easy on Saturday.
It puts the Cowboys (1-5) in the peculiar position of being one win or loss away from the club's biggest winning streak against an opponent, or their worst-ever start to a season.
That conflicting record is coupled with statistics that show Gold Coast to be the worst defensive team in the league and the Cowboys the second-worst attacking side within 20m of the line.
According to Gold Coast coach Garth Brennan, all that points to is both sides' inconsistency.
"They're not stringing 80 minutes together, but not too many sides are," Brennan said.
"They're an absolute class act, full of internationals, full of quality players and it's no secret they're not going to be down for too long.
"Hopefully we can put in a good performance and not let this week be the week they get back on track."
Returning from suspension and confident he's over a niggling foot injury, Titans captain Ryan James said the Townsville clash provided an opportunity for the side to prove its depth.
Nathan Peats (ribs) and Dale Copley (hamstring) will miss as many as six and three weeks respectively, while Jai Arrow (back) and Morgan Boyle (concussion) trained on Friday and should play.
STATS THAT MATTER
* North Queensland will be looking to avoid starting a season 1-6 for the first time in club history.
* The Gold Coast has the worst red zone defence, conceding a try inside their 20 from every 7.8 tackles.
* North Queensland has the second-worst red zone attack in the NRL, taking 20.5 tackles to score a try.