Winning will ease NRL pressure: Taumalolo

Murray Wenzel
Stand-in Cowboys captain Jason Taumalolo says it's time for the players to step up on the field

Jason Taumalolo says his North Queensland teammates are feeling the heat too and only wins will ease the mounting pressure on coach Paul Green.

The Cowboys (2-3) have been underwhelming in back-to-back losses but are still in the top eight ahead of Saturday's trip to face Wests Tigers.

Breaking a two-year finals drought appears a tougher task each week though, with Michael Morgan (shoulder), Valentine Holmes (ankle) and stand-in skipper Jordan McLean (calf) all sidelined.

And to make matters worse emerging prop Tom Gilbert is suspended for three weeks.

It has left Taumalolo in charge of the 2015 premiers at NRL level for the first time and his message is clear.

"To win; that's the best way to change things, win at whatever cost at the moment," he said.

"We've a fairly young side, lost our leaders in Macca and Morgs so a win, any way possible, will go a long way to us getting back on track."

Green insists he isn't bothered by the critics, but Taumalolo conceded the playing group had a role to keep them at bay.

"I don't think Greeny is the only one under pressure; us players that take the field carry that responsibility just as much as Greeny does," he said.

"Everyone can say what they want, but we're the ones that put on the jersey and go out there and play the game.

"He's definitely helped us become as successful as we have been over the last couple of years, taking us to grand finals and finals series, so we fully back Greeny but we've got to do that on the field too."

The rampaging prop admitted the knee injury that ruled him out a fortnight ago was playing on his mind.

He made just 56 post-contact metres in the loss to the Warriors, compared to 127 against the Titans two weeks earlier.

"My knee might not be 100 per cent, but that's not an excuse for what I tossed up last weekend and hopefully this weekend I make up for it," he said.

"It's more of a confidence thing for myself - injuries are always going to play with your head a bit - but my knee held up alright so that should give me some confidence going into this game."