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New Warriors coach Andrew McFadden is hopeful his charges can take their games to another level against the ladder-leading Bulldogs on Sunday.

Warriors fans aren’t really used to looking at the Telstra Premiership ladder and seeing their team in the top quarter of it.

In fact the Warriors jump into fourth spot following last Sunday's 28-14 victory over the Storm was the first time they have been there since Round 24, 2011, almost four years ago.

The increase in excitement and expectation surrounding the club could be felt almost immediately in New Zealand, and with most of the country's other major sporting codes having concluded their seasons, the spotlight is well and truly on the Warriors.

But coach Andrew McFadden's message mid-week was clear; all of that means nothing right now.

"You can come and ask me at Round 26 about the table, because that’s the only time it really matters," McFadden said.

"I am not putting too much attention on the table right now at all.

"There's certainly a very positive feel around training and certainly we are feeling good about our game, but we know every week we have got to turn up.

"It's something we have discussed, all the noise that is generated when you start doing well, every team has got to go through it but it doesn’t help you win football games.

"We are just going to focus on what we do week-to-week, the standard we have for each other. All that other stuff we have just got to do our best to block it out."


With just seven players left at the club from that 2011 season - which was also the last time they made the finals - the situation is a new one for the majority of the Warriors' playing group.

It is also foreign territory for McFadden in just his second season as an NRL coach.

21-year-old forward Raymond Faitala-Mariner, who will play his sixth first-grade game this Sunday against the Roosters, said the club is determined not to let the hype get to them. 

"Cappy [McFadden] has told us to ignore the noise outside with everything and just focus on our process with the boys," he said.

"Even though we are in the four it's no big deal for us yet. I don’t want to think like that [that the Warriors are among the top four clubs] and then get too complacent."

Those reservations are understandable given the Warriors sat on the exact same number of points this time last year, only to splutter through the final rounds and miss out on the top eight on differential.

With the minimum points required to make the finals traditionally being around 28, the Warriors still need to win at least three of their remaining eight games, which includes clashes against fellow top eight sides the Roosters [3rd], Dragons [7th], Cowboys [2nd] and Bulldogs [8th].

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