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No backstabbing: Drinkwater insists Cowboys are a close crew

Cowboys players admit frustration is rising after consecutive losses but insist morale is healthy.

Coach Todd Payten has urged the team to relax and trust themselves on the field, saying their winless start to the year had caused "a little bit of tension".

"It's not between the coaching staff and the players; it's the energy," Payten clarified on Tuesday after the 25-18 home loss to the Dragons.

Fullback Scott Drinkwater dispelled any suggestion of internal conflict in the lead-up to Sunday's clash with the Titans at Queensland Country Bank Stadium.

"There's no [personal] tension and backstabbing; it's just our frustration that we haven't got the job done yet," Drinkwater told reporters on Wednesday.

"I wouldn't say it was tense between everyone. It was just frustration about a couple of the things that players have done in games and they're frustrated with themselves for making those errors.

"We're all good. We're a good, close crew."

Taulagi was unlucky to miss out in round one: Payten

Co-captain Michael Morgan isn’t panicking.

The halfback noted that North Queensland began their premiership-winning 2015 campaign with three losses - and he felt the pinch more on that occasion.

"[That year] everyone was telling us how good we were before the pre-season. No one was doing that this year," Morgan said.

"People didn't have high expectations coming into the season, but internally, we have expectations on ourselves. I still think we can [turn the season around].

"The things that we wanted to change weren't going to change overnight."

Morgan backed Payten's decision to keep Drinkwater in the No.1 jersey while he partners Jake Clifford in the halves but admitted further poor results could force the mentor's hand.

Every try from round 2

Drinkwater said "it's always in the back of [my] mind" that his spot isn't necessarily secure considering marquee winger Valentine Holmes and young centre Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow prefer to play fullback.

"We haven't been consistent at doing what we want to do. If we don’t get consistent at it then, yes, I'm sure Todd will want to make some changes," Morgan said.

"The sooner we can get into doing what we can do, that will relieve pressure – if you want to call it pressure – off everyone. You have a couple of wins and things start looking a lot better."

Drinkwater, who is another halves option and started last season as Morgan's offsider, is planning to impose himself more often.

"I was a bit dirty on myself after the [Dragons] game," the 23-year-old said.

"I had a pretty good, solid start to the second half, I got involved, and then I fell into the trap of finding my way out a bit further on the field and relying on people to get me the ball.

"I was a bit frustrated with myself. I didn't really take the opportunity to go and get involved. It's up to me to do it."

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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