Broncos five-eighth Anthony Milford says he needs to be better at icing games that are on the line but insists he is leaving no stone unturned to improve his skills in that department.
The 24-year-old was walking the talk at Broncos training on Thursday. Before speaking to media and doing several one-on-one interviews he was practising field goals on his own and his general kicking game as journalists waited.
Coach Anthony Seibold said Milford was the man to call the shots after they lost to the Wests Tigers in round five after failing to land what would have been a match-winning field goal.
Milford, an off-the-cuff five-eighth, has said many times he is at his best when running the ball but he also concedes game management is vital in his role.
"It doesn’t come naturally to me but the game management side of things comes with my role and I need to ice games,” Milford told NRL.com.
"When the game is on the line I need to be better there and have the confidence within myself to do it.
"I do get a lot of confidence out of kicking field goals and that’s why I’ve been doing all the training here that I can to get better.
"I need to be better at what I do and we just need to hang in there as a side and we’ll come out of this [four game losing streak] on top."
Milford said he was also working hard to improve his defensive clout after missing 20 tackles in the opening six Telstra Premiership rounds.
While a willing defender, he said it was an area of his game he needed to develop. He had a second shoulder reconstruction in the off-season but said that was no excuse for missing tackles.
"The shoulder is good and I’ve been trying to do everything I can, whether it is rehab or the treatment side of things to get my shoulder where it needs to be," he said.
"My defence is one thing that I really want to improve on. I know when I am tackling well and that flows onto my attack.
"I’m doing extras with the defensive coaches, one-on-ones and two-on-ones with Crossy [Ben Cross] and Kurt Richards, and making sure I am ticking boxes so I am not going into the game with no confidence."
Milford said the criticism of the halves after Brisbane’s recent losses was "part and parcel of being a Bronco" and added the structures put in place by Seibold were not the reason for the duo failing to play at their best.
"Kodi [Nikora] and I accept full responsibility and are trying as hard as we can to nail everything in training, so that come game day we have no excuses," he said.
"The structure that Seibs has is hands-on for the halves and making sure we are taking on the line and getting that early ball. We just need to put it into action now.
"The forwards are doing an awesome job and us halves need to capitalise on everything they do."
The members of the spine got together after the 26-22 loss to Canberra to analyse what went wrong and where they can improve. Despite being 14th with a 1-5 record, Milford was optimistic about Saturday's home clash with Cronulla.
"I think we’ve been a lot more upbeat at training. It was our first training session [since the Raiders game] today and I think we were a lot better,” he said of the spine.
"We're not far off. We believe that things will turn."