Cowboys need to perform or perish in Bathurst
North Queensland coach Paul Green has extended his players' deadline to perform, but has conceded if they don't start getting wins on the board over their next two rounds he'll have to take action.
The Cowboys travel to Bathurst to take on the Panthers on Friday night, before staying in Sydney to prepare for their match against the Tigers.
There are a host of young players waiting in the wings, playing strong football in the Intrust Super Cup, namely Francis Molo, Jake Clifford and Sam Hoare.
"I was [tempted to make changes] we're probably not too far away from that point now, by the same token we're not too far away from a win either," Green said.
"Tough little road trip ahead of us now with two away games so having that experience and having guys used to being on the road will help from a preparation point of view."
Green was pleased with his player's ability to focus on their own performance despite the criticism that has been levelled at them over their run of poor form, but knows the best way to get out of the headlines for the wrong reasons, is to get into them for the right ones.
"[The players] have been pretty good at being able to block out a bit of the noise, but at the moment we just need some results on the field, that's the best way to silence any of that sort of stuff."
Second-rower Gavin Cooper believes there's nothing that could be written or said that could heighten the standards the Cowboys have set for themselves.
"There's pressure on us all the time, there's no higher pressure than what you put on yourself," Cooper said.
"The reason the expectation is so high is because of the form we've set over the past couple of years.
"As a team we know where we should be, as individuals we know where we should be and I don't think we need the coach breathing down our neck to know how we're playing."
Winger Antonio Winterstein added to the back-rower's sentiment, noting that the players coming up from within the extended squad are good for the team, and the club overall.
"Everyone's got to be on their toes, everyone's under pressure to perform lately and it's healthy for the club when you've got guys of that quality coming through," Winterstein said.