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Green wary of Clifford playing 'second fiddle' to Morgan

Cowboys coach Paul Green doesn't want the return of captain Michael Morgan to lessen the influence young No.7 Jake Clifford has over the team.

Clifford has been thrust into a game-management position while Morgan was sidelined by concussion issues following a pair of heavy knocks to the head.

With Morgan a welcome return to the team that will take on Wests Tigers at Leichhardt Oval on Thursday night, Green wants to see Clifford continue to assert his authority.

"It's important that Cliffo doesn't take a step back," Green said.

"As part of his development we want him to continue to play his role in the team and we don't want him to think Morgo’s back and he can play second fiddle."

On Morgan's return from concussion-related issues that have kept him sidelined since Origin III, Green said the safety-first approach was understandable, but at times frustrating.

Every try from Round 19

"He was feeling fine. But that's the process you have to follow these days," he said.

"It's good that we are taking that a lot more seriously now. But he’s felt fine since the game and he's been a bit frustrated because he has felt so good.

"It's a huge boost for us, obviously he’s our captain and we all know how good a player he can be and I think we’ve probably missed a steady head there in the last few weeks."

With Morgan and Clifford reunited in the halves, Green is hoping the lapses in focus that have slowed the team in recent weeks become a thing of the past.

Graham Annesley weekly football briefing - Round 19

"When we get ourselves in positions where we're in front, which we've been quite a number of times this year so far with probably 20 (minutes) to go, we just need a bit of experience there to steer the team home and make sure we have winning plays rather than letting teams get back into the contest," he said.

In other team news for the 13th-placed Cowboys, Coen Hess has been retained in the centres, Kyle Feldt has been named despite still undergoing concussion protocols and John Asiata drops back to the bench to make room for Morgan. 

"He [Asiata] needs to make sure that he brings the skill that we know he can play with to that role through the middle of the field," Green said.

"It gives us another attacking option there through the middle."