Mitchell was back at Roosters training on Tuesday. Picture: Brett Costello
Mitchell was back at Roosters training on Tuesday. Picture: Brett Costello

Cronk issues Latrell Mitchell warning

Cooper Cronk has told everyone to "cool their jets" when criticising teammate Latrell Mitchell who made a welcomed return to training on Tuesday.

Mitchell returned to Taree after last Wednesday's State of Origin clash missing the Roosters last-start loss to the Panthers. But the Roosters gun was back at it on Tuesday joining his teammates along with Luke Keary who also took part in light duties on the training paddock.

Criticism has been aplenty for Mitchell led by former Blues coach Phil Gould who said the centre could be a distraction for the Blues heading into Origin II

But Cronk has no concerns about his teammate.

"I would imagine most of the people having those comments aren't part of the inner sanctum and don't walk around Latrell's footprint," Cronk said. "I don't understand where it's all coming from.

"Three weeks ago he played the best game any young kid has played in rugby league history, now he isn't happy or playing well. I've played some good games, some really bad games and some games in the middle. That's football.

"It's not how you play, it's how you respond.

"Trust me if I was an opposition player I wouldn't want Latrell Mitchell playing in the Roosters football team or the NSW team. Cool the jets, just relax. He knows what he is doing.

"Phil has every right … He is able to call it as he sees it. I don't think Phil Gould is in the phone contacts of Latrell Mitchell in terms of catching up and he would regularly know Latrell's position on anything."

 

Cronk knows what his young teammate is capable of. Picture: Brett Costello
Cronk knows what his young teammate is capable of. Picture: Brett Costello

 

Cronk said the Roosters had to strip their performances right back having lost their past three games.

"You don't need to be the NSW captain or a starting position player to defend well," Cronk said. "Defence comes down to a want and desire to want to do it better than the opposition. We have the processes in place and history shows we have a very good system that can knock teams back when we are defending our line.

"It doesn't matter if you've played a lot of games or not many games. It's just effort areas. When you do lose a few games in a row people do look at the big picture like scoring points.

 

Latrell Mitchell was far from his damaging best against Queensland in Origin I. Picture: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images
Latrell Mitchell was far from his damaging best against Queensland in Origin I. Picture: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

 

"When you are in the inner-sanctum and trying to improve, you do peel it back to the basic layers and start again. The old theory you have to take two steps back to move forward is the way you'll look at it.

"I've been playing this game for a long period of time. I know this football team has its best football in front of them it just needs a sharpened focus on the things that count.

"Let's make no mistake we will be focused on what makes us a good footy team (against Canterbury). We don't want to play this game high scoring points. We would love for it to be a 2-0, 4-2, 6-4 score line because that shows the determination and gritty attitude what needs to be done is getting done."

News Corp Australia


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