Warriors have tuned back in: Payten

Daniel Gilhooly
Stand-in coach Todd Payten (third from left) says Warriors' focus has returned after tough weekend

Stand-in Warriors coach Todd Payten believes his players are tuned back in to the NRL following the sacking of Stephen Kearney and the nightmare weekend it created.

Payten says a raw team session on Sunday afternoon gave everyone in the squad a chance to vent their feelings, barely a day after the club's owners had suddenly shown Kearney the door.

Some players and coaching staff had said concentrating on Friday's upcoming game against Melbourne in Sydney was initially impossible such was the shock emanating through their quarantine base in Terrigal.

They have since trained twice and Peyton believes the focus has now returned.

"Everyone's head is in the right spot," he said.

"I just opened up the floor on Sunday afternoon, got them to clear their head, open their mouth.

"They know that they're here to play footy. Their focus has been - ever since that meeting on Sunday - about the game."

Peyton himself struggled when addressing media last Sunday but he cut a hard-line figure three days later and vowed to make the most of his first crack as head coach.

The former Wests Tigers forward pointed to unacceptable defence in the 40-12 loss to Souths last Friday and said he will set about moulding the attitude of the players.

"We haven't been tough enough for long enough," was Payten's telling response when asked why the team had struggled for the last 18 months.

"In a lot of areas we're close. In other areas we're a million miles away. We need to shorten it up in all of those areas."