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Cowboys star Valentine Holmes.

Cowboys coach Paul Green conceded his team's "confidence is very brittle" after Thursday's 42-16 loss to the Roosters and said he will consider swinging the axe.

North Queensland had the better of most of the first half in Townsville but dropped their bundle after the break as the premiers ran riot with five tries in 20 minutes. Matt Ikuvalu finished with five tries himself.

The Cowboys have now lost five of their past six matches and making matters worse, star back Valentine Holmes appears destined for the casualty ward again after aggravating an ankle issue.

"When something goes against us, as a team we just need to be a little bit tougher mentally to be able to cope with that and get back into the game," Green said.

"One try is quickly becoming two, becoming three. At half-time it was a good contest, we were in amongst it, but the start of that second half made it very difficult."

Green, whose future has been put under the spotlight, acknowledged "there's plenty of reasons for me to make changes to the team".

Match Highlights: Cowboys v Roosters

"I'll just leave it at that for now. Whether or not that'll happen, I'm not sure, but we need to build confidence. I'll have a good look at the game and get a read on it after that," he said.

Asked if the Cowboys had erred in playing Holmes, who didn't return for the second stanza after limping, Green said the flyer had "pulled up good" after he returned from his initial ankle issue last week.

Holmes was shifted from fullback to the wing, telling Fox League pre-game that it was a "mutual decision". The former Shark also said he wasn't 100 percent fit but felt he could do his job.

"He got jammed up in a tackle as well, which doesn't help given he's had a sore ankle to start with," Green said.

The coach added it was "too early to say" how long Holmes could be sidelined, while he indicated that captain Michael Morgan is still a fair way off returning from a shoulder injury.

Green said it was "frustrating" that North Queensland continue to fail to execute their game-plan.

"We're not consistent enough with trusting that and sticking at it. It's like if it doesn't work every time, we look for something else," he said.

"[The Roosters] are a good defensive side, even though they had plenty of guys out tonight, there's still plenty of good players out there.

"They base their game around defence. We could definitely take a leaf out of their book."

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