New boss puts fear into Titans
JARROD Wallace is motivated to prove a point to incoming Titans coach Justin Holbrook with the Maroons prop admitting it's time for Gold Coast stars to perform or perish.
Stung by last week's 34-12 derby thrashing by the Broncos, the Titans are languishing in outright last ahead of a daunting round 20 road trip to face defending premiers the Roosters at the SCG this Sunday.
The Titans have six players off-contract at season's end and a further 14 next year, including key squad members Jai Arrow, AJ Brimson, Ryan James, Nathan Peats, Kevin Proctor, Tyrone Roberts and Phillip Sami.
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Wallace is contracted until the end of 2022, but admits he cannot afford to be complacent as Holbrook prepares to closely monitor the form of Gold Coast players over the final six weeks of a nightmare 2019 campaign.
"We are all playing for contracts," Wallace said.
"The new coach coming in is going to be watching so we all, as players, have to make sure we are putting our hands up.
"Even with myself, I can't think, 'I'm safe'.
"The new coach might not like me and want to move me on, so the whole squad is playing for their futures and it's important we have to impress the new coach in the coming weeks."
Despite the Titans slumping to their second consecutive loss and having leaked 72 points since Garth Brennan's sacking, Wallace insists Gold Coast players have not raised the white flag.
The 28-year-old has been one of the Titans' most consistent players this season and says caretaker coaches Craig Hodges and Luke Burt have improved the spirit of the squad since replacing Brennan a fortnight ago.
Hodges has an 0-4 record as caretaker coach, first answering an SOS following Neil Henry's sacking two years ago, and faces another torrid test bolstering confidence levels for the Roosters showdown.
"We have to play for each other and the fans. We have to get some confidence and have some fun at the back end of the year," Wallace said.
"We have a big task over the next few weeks. We had Melbourne two weeks ago and now with the Roosters, it's a tough ask but we have to play for pride to finish the year.
"It's going to be a tough run home. We've got the Storm again (away in round 23) so it won't be easy, but if we put in some effort, we might jag a few wins in the next six weeks."