Cowboys place faith in coach Millward - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cowboys place faith in coach Millward

By Daniel Pace 30/05/2008 12:00:56 PM Comments (0)

Test forward Carl Webb has endorsed caretaker coach Ian Millward as the man to dig North Queensland out of a massive hole.

Millward took charge of the struggling Townsville-based outfit after Graham Murray resigned as head coach on May 19.

He's warming the seat for Canberra mentor Neil Henry, who will begin his five-year tenure for North Queensland at the end of this NRL season.

On the back of four straight losses, the 15th-placed Cowboys will host Penrith at Dairy Farmers Stadium on Saturday night and be desperate for a morale-boosting victory.

Webb said the players had responded well to the changing of the guard at the club and had placed their trust in Millward, a former coach of English clubs St Helens and Wigan.

"I think he's been great," Webb told AAP.

"I couldn't see it being easy taking over the (coaching) reins after Graham's resignation.

"It was never going to be an easy job. He's brought some enthusiasm to training and you can see that he's making a real effort.

"He's a very positive person with us and it's very encouraging."

A change of scenery often has a positive effect on teams in a form slump but Webb said despite a promising preparation during the bye week, the Cowboys would have to work hard for the two points against the Panthers.

He said only a string of good results would silence the critics.

"I just think everyone knows what has to be done," said Webb, who is under pressure to retain his starting spot for Origin II in Brisbane on June 11.

"It has been a difficult month or so. Everyone from the coaching staff to the players realise that we have to start performing on the field.

"A lot of teams come back from adversity but you can't just expect it to happen.

"The change will have to come from the players.

"If we start winning games then we won't get hassled at all."

Millward said Saturday's game was important for the Cowboys to gain momentum but it would not "make or break" their season.

"This is not our elimination semi-final this weekend," he added.

"It's an opportunity to get out in front of our home fans and play well."

The clash between Webb and his Maroons teammate and Penrith skipper Petero Civoniceva shapes as a highlight of the match.

"It's a good opportunity for me to remind the (Queensland) selectors that I'm still available," Webb said.

The Panthers, who collected the 2007 wooden spoon, have surged into the top eight after securing five wins from their past seven games.

"I think they're not so much flying under the radar, but they're a better, more confident team," Webb said.

"They're a big, physical team so we'll have a job on our hands."

Cowboys fullback Matt Bowen failed a fitness test on his dodgy knee on Thursday and faces further surgery to get back onto the field.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2020 AAP

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