Milford stunned by Broncos criticism

Criticism doesn't surprise Anthony Milford but the Brisbane playmaker admits he did not expect the heavy scrutiny that has come with being the Broncos' marquee man in 2018

The knives are out for Milford and halves partner Kodi Nikorima after having little impact in Brisbane's 34-12 NRL round one loss to St George Illawarra last week.

Ex-Test half Matthew Johns led the chorus of disapproval, lamenting the Broncos' lack of a dominant half after describing the Milford-Nikorima combination as "awful".

Nikorima is under plenty of pressure as he tries to cement the No.7 jersey but pivot Milford is feeling the most heat as he starts a new four-year, $4 million Broncos deal.

Milford shocked by intense scrutiny. Pic: AAP

Pressure on the pair only escalated when Wayne Bennett uncharacteristically blasted the pair for their lack of intensity in a wrestling drill at Broncos training in front of media on Monday.

All eyes will again be on the pair in Friday night's blockbuster round two clash with North Queensland at Suncorp Stadium - not that Milford needs to be told.

"That (criticism) comes with the position I play," Milford said.

"That's part and parcel (of it). Critics are going to be coming at Kodi and I whether we lose or win.

"We have got to ride those highs and lows, accept what comes our way."

But Milford admitted he did not expect the spotlight to focus so intensely on him after signing his lucrative deal that kept him until the end of 2021.

"Not at all. Having a new partner in the halves will take a bit of time for both of us to click," he said.

"But we have no excuses. We are ready to move on, put that game behind us and focus on the next round.

"We know went wrong and how to fix it. It will happen on Friday night."

Johns has already written off Brisbane's finals chances after Milford and Nikorima failed to fire, with the Broncos' only two tries against the Dragons sparked by centre James Roberts.

Asked if he took criticism personally, Milford said: " Not at all. The media gets pushed aside.

"Inside I know what I have to work on and what I need to do in the game - I just need to put it in action."

Milford admitted he had to "go back to basics" and spark his once renowned running game while sharing game management with Nikorima, fullback Darius Boyd and returning hooker Andrew McCullough.

"I have just got to make sure I get an early carry in the game and stay in game," he said.

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