Titans must trust 'method to madness'

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Scott Sattler maintains Gold Coast shouldn't have let Jamal Fogarty go, but is urging the Titans to trust the method of their madness just like Friday's NRL opponents Penrith did years ago.

The Titans curiously allowed captain and established halfback Fogarty to exit his contract early in the off-season to take up a long-term deal with Canberra.

Coach Justin Holbrook then handed the unproven Toby Sexton the keys in the No.7 to form a youthfull partnership with five-eighth AJ Brimson and fullback Jayden Campbell.

But, seven rounds into the season, the Titans are 2-5 before a home clash with the unbeaten Panthers.

Campbell is fit but remains in the Queensland Cup as he recovers from a rib injury and Brimson has been re-deployed in his original No.1 jersey, with Will Smith wearing the No.6.

Inaugural Titans football manager and former Panthers premiership star Sattler watched it all unfold.

"Of course I'm critical of them letting Fogarty go; he's your captain and educator to the young halves," Sattler told AAP.

"I felt at the time it was the wrong call. Toby could have sat behind him or partnered him, like Chad Townsend has done (with Tom Dearden) for the Cowboys.

"Has it backfired? Yeah it has.

"But you've just now gotta say 'this is our playing group for two years and we're playing the long game'."

Sattler noted similarities at the Titans, who snuck into the finals last year, to some trying years at Penrith before their 2003 success

"We made the semis in 2000 then took the wooden spoon in 2001, debuted all these young guys," he said.

"We went through a lot of pain in 2002, everyone saying we'd have another spoon, but we knew where we were going.

"We just had a coach who knew there was method to the madness and Justin's the same.

"Eventually it clicks ... Justin's a great coach - they've got the young players to do it - they just need everyone to stick solid."

Sattler even floated the idea of Campbell moving into the No.6 like his father Preston did so well, allowing Brimson to remain in a position he excels.

But Holbrook is adamant Campbell, who he says needs at least another week in reserve grade to rebuild his fitness, and Brimson work best in the No.1 and 6 respectively alongside Sexton.

He said Brimson's move to the No.1 this week, at Jamayne Isaako's expense, would ideally kickstart an offence that has stuttered in recent weeks.

"I said at the time I wish Jamal had stayed, but I'm not unhappy with Toby," Holbrook said on Thursday.

"It's been difficult that AJ didn't play round one and JC (Campbell) hurt himself at half-time in that Canberra game.

"If he doesn't hurt himself we probably go on and win that. It hasn't been ideal to try and get those three working together.

"We're not in the position we want to be in ... we've got to get those players out there and in those key positions."

Holbrook confirmed Corey Thompson would come into the side for injury winger Phil Sami while Penrith are unchanged.

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