Wests Tigers Coach Michael Maguire is pleased with the return of key players to the squad and the ability of having a healthy playing group that can all be utilised this week.
Headlined by the return of Lebanon international Alex Twal after over a month on the sidelines, Maguire said it was pleasing to welcome back several key players.
“Alex has worked extremely hard and he's a real professional," Maguire said.
"I love coaching Twally. He's definitely my style of player.
“He puts the work in and he's really gone to another level this season in his game — not only on the park but off it too. He’s a leader within the group now and the way he goes about things is something a lot of the younger guys are watching.
"There’s a reason he’s playing great footy.”
Maguire confirmed his side were likely to run out as per program on Friday night, with Adam Doueihi (concussion), Sam McIntyre (concussion), Luke Garner (concussion) and Thomas Mikaele (knee) all set to play.
“I’m fortunate at the moment because the boys worked really hard right throughout the COVID period to make sure their bodies are in the best shape,” said Maguire.
“We have a healthy squad so it’s giving me a good choice between the team and how we want to do things.
The expectations around this club are one thing that I'm seeing change ever week. The boys aren’t satisfied with where we are at the present moment.
“It’s something that we’ve spoken about and they’re very hungry to make sure we’re getting the two points now. We're at the stage of the season where it's time we make the run we want — that's what having this squad has given me at the moment.
“One pleasing thing is it’s coming from the players," he added.
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"They’re really driving it hard in that area and speaking about the need for our game to improve." we need in the game to improve.”
In more positive team news, Maguire said Michael Chee Kam — who suffered a nasty on-field incident last week following a head knock — was recovering well and should be eligible for selection next week against Newcastle.
“He should be all right for next week," Maguire enthused.
"He obviously has a few things that we need to go through.
“There are some really good things in place to make sure all the players are checked with scans and that sort of thing. He had more [tests] yesterday and it showed all positive and he’s all okay.
“It’s obviously a tough one to watch your player go through that but what they do now with the checking with head knocks is pretty thorough.
"He’ll be right when the time is right.”
Match: Wests Tigers v Warriors
Round 12 -
Venue: Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney