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Green gives red-faced Cowboys shot at redemption

Cowboys Coach Paul Green has given the same team that was embarrassed by the Sharks last week an opportunity to prove their worth against the Canberra Raiders on Saturday at 1300 Smiles Stadium.

Green, who was far from happy with the team's performance last week, said the players would get a shot at redemption after allowing the Sharks to run riot with 36 second-half points.

"I've given those same guys the opportunity to rectify it and I don't want to keep chopping and changing, but in saying that we also need to get some consistency with how we perform and we probably haven't had that yet," Green said.

Green said the players were disappointed with themselves and put the poor performance down to attitude rather than a confidence crisis.

"Attitude was in question after last week's performance in particular and that probably hurts more than anything," Green said.

Cowboys veteran Gavin Cooper insisted "it's not a confidence thing".

"It was just a couple of things rolling back to back," Cooper said.

Cowboys backrower Gavin Cooper.
Cowboys backrower Gavin Cooper. ©Scott Davis/NRL Photos

"They weren't breaking us down but they were just running harder than us and more desperate."

When asked who needed to step up this weekend, Green wouldn't mention any names.

"I'm not going to single anyone out but we need a better team performance," he said.

"To be fair there were some guys individually that probably were disappointed with their performance."

Green was also adamant that structure wasn't to blame for the 42-16 demolition at the hands of the Sharks.

Cowboys halfback Jake Clifford.
Cowboys halfback Jake Clifford. ©Scott Davis/NRL Photos

"It wasn't our structure that broke down and that's why we questioned our attitude. You can't concede that many points and have a structural break down," he said.

"We need to show a lot more resilience and that's just not our standard. That's not what we expect of each other, and we're certainly aware of it. There's no doubt we can do it but we need to get it right this week."

Traditionally, the Cowboys have always been slow starters to the season, but Green said it wasn't panic stations yet.

"You want to try and build confidence early in the year, particularly given we've got some new players in the group, so teamwork, continuity and confidence by winning footy games is the best way to build that," he said.

"If we don't do it, it doesn't mean the season's gone. It's about how you attack the next week and how you respond to it. That's the key thing for us."

Young half Jake Clifford also gets another shot to impress on Saturday, Cooper saying "he showed glimpses of what he can do".

"He's tough to handle once he gets his hands on the ball and just decides to run straight," Cooper said.

"For the most part he's probably looking to play second fiddle a little bit but he'll be better for the run and we've still got a lot to work on for us."

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