Josh Hannay insists Michael Morgan’s future at the Cowboys should be at halfback despite a call for him to move him into the centres.
Brad Fittler, who played in the halves and as a centre in his stellar career, told Wide World of Sports that he believed Morgan’s future was in the centres, where he has played for the Maroons, and not in the halves where he previously won the 2015 grand final.
Hannay, speaking after his side’s 36-20 loss to the Storm, said he was doubtful Morgan would be back this year in club football due to a torn calf but said when he did line up for the Cowboys next year it should be in the halves.
Morgan has struggled to make an impact in the halves in recent years and has only played five games this season due to injury. He only managed 11 matches in 2018 in another injury-plagued year.
"We haven’t seen the best of Michael Morgan as a halfback and part of that is the number of injuries he has had and his inability to stay on the park," Hannay said.
"He hasn’t been able to string a full season of football together for four years and it is such a key position that to see the best of Michael at half he needs to string some games together.
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"If he can then that is a position he can dominate and I think he is too good a player to put out in the centres. If you put him out in the centres he is going to have much less influence over a game than he can at halfback."
The Cowboys' defence has been leaky but Hannay said the flair of Valentine Holmes, Scott Drinkwater and Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow – who all shone at various stages against the Storm - augured well for next year.
"There is a good footy side with a lot of flair, ability and potential but there is two sides to rugby league – attack and defence – and the club needs to work really hard on the defensive aspects of our game and a lot of that comes down to attitude," Hannay said.
"With young guys that can often be the part of the game they least like. We have a lot of young players who I just think need to learn about the importance of defending for 80 minutes.
"You throw Michael Morgan, Jason Taumalolo and Reece Robson into that football side and there is certainly attacking potential in that group."
Hannay was unsure whether he would be there next year under 2021 coach Todd Payten and said missing out on the top job was "disappointing".
"I love the club, I care a lot about this club and I care a lot about this group but it is all about moving on now," he said.
"The club have made their decision about the direction they want to move in and I only have good hopes and wishes for the club."
Meanwhile, Storm coach Craig Bellamy said Tino Fa’asuamaleaui was ready to play Origin for the Maroons after another dominant display against the Cowboys.
"If you had asked me that at the start of the season I probably would have said no but I have no doubt he would handle Origin at the moment," Bellamy said.
"The experience he has had this year and the maturity he has shown, I probably didn’t see that last year, to be honest.
"He worked really hard in the pre-season to come back in real good shape and I think that is the foundation for what he has done this year where he has played long minutes and been very productive.
"You’ve seen what he has done this year and I am sure Kevvie [Walters] is looking really closely at him playing Origin."