Wests Tigers Head Coach Ivan Cleary spoke to the media on Thursday morning ahead of his side’s Round 25 match against the North Queensland Cowboys on Friday night.
After pushing another top-eight team all the way last week with a close loss to the Roosters, Cleary said it was important his side kept fighting strong over the final two games of the year.
“Everyone is a competitor here, and we just want to win,” he said.
"Things have really been a bit more settled, and I think once a few things have been sorted with retention and recruitment, things have settled down and I think it’s shown on the field.
"I’m pretty happy at the moment there’s definitely some traction in to the future.
“There’s still a lot to change and a lot to do, but you can definitely feel it.”
Winless at Campbelltown Sports Stadium from their three matches this season, Cleary said his side were desperate to ensure they produced a strong performance on Friday night.
“For us, it’s a good chance to go and play well in front of the people of Campbelltown,” he said.
"We’re really looking forward to doing that this weekend.
“We’ve been down to Campbelltown a few times this year and probably haven’t produced our best performances, so it’d be nice to go and play well in front of them tomorrow night.”
Wests Tigers utility Michael Chee Kam says an improvement in team accountability is behind his side’s noticable lift in resilience over the past few months of football.
Having trailed 20-6 against the Sea Eagles the week before and 16-0 against the Roosters on Saturday, before storming back to lead both contests, Chee Kam reveals where the new never-say-die attitude of Wests Tigers has come about new Head Coach Ivan Cleary.
“I think holding each other accountable has been the main thing for us,” he said.
"We have a lot of video sessions and meetings, and everyone is not shy to speak up.
"If one of the boys is not there at the right spot he should be, or is not pushing up, we call each other out and I think that’s really helped the boys out individually and as a team too.
"The last couple of months we’ve really shown that resilience.
"I think it’s something we’re improving in each week — we’ve just got to build off that. The loss was really disappointing, but we can take the positives out of it and move on to next week.
“I think it’s showing that we’re improving, and how our defence is keeping us in games.”
Wests Tigers forward Josh Aloiai spoke to the media on Sunday after making his first starting appearance for the Club in over three months against the Sydney Roosters.
The 2016 Club Rookie of the Year was sensational on the edge, scoring a try and proving a handful for the Roosters defence, and says he felt he settled in well to a high-quality contest.
“It was a hard game, a very physical game,” he said.
"We were just trying to work really hard for each other throughout the game, and I think that was evident. We came so close, and it just hurts to not quite be able to get it done.
"They’re a top-four side so it’s good to be able to stretch them.
"But having said, it would have been much better to get the win.
“We’re not happy with it, but there’s definitely positives for us.”
Having re-signed at Wests Tigers until the end of 2019, Aloiai also reitterated comments made by Coach Ivan Cleary post-game about the progress within the squad throughout the season.
“I think there’s been a lot of growth within our playing group,” he enthused.
"The culture of our team is changing.
“These close losses — it’s not a matter of effort, it’s just execution and game managament.”
Wests Tigers forward Bayley Sironen speaks as he prepares to make his first-grade debut tomorrow night against the North Queensland Cowboys at Campbelltown.