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Bird will add aggression to Titans
Wayne Heming
19:16 AEST Tue Aug 7 2012

Gold Coast coach John Cartwright hasn't been sleeping too well but not because he is worried about the Titans' NRL finals hopes.

According to assistant coach and former feared defender Trevor Gillmeister, the cause of his restless nights is the good form of his players and who he leaves out of the side.

Just who to cut is a headache the man know as "The Axe" says is something the club hasn't experienced at this time of the year for a while.

Cartwright named NSW enforcer Greg Bird (hamstring) on an extended interchange bench which will mean dropping a player if he gets through the team's final training session before heading to Melbourne to tackle the Storm.

Gillmeister said with the team playing with plenty of confidence it would be difficult to find somebody to drop.

"That's Carty's job," he said.

"It's a great headache to have, we didn't have that luxury last season.

"I know Carty's had a couple of sleepless nights about which players to leave out."

Gillmeister reported Bird had run strongly on Tuesday and provided he pulled up without any problems, should play.

"He did a fair bit of running today. I don't know much about hamstrings but he (Bird) is pretty confident he'll be right," he said.

Gillmeister, who was an inspirational player throughout his 223 game club career and also for Queensland, said Bird brought the type of aggression every team needed.

His return from injury will reunite the club's representative back-row of Nate Myles and Ashley Harrison for the first time since round 13.

Gillmeister denied the Titan's precarious position in the battle for a top eight spot had put pressure on Bird's comeback.

"Birdy's one of them blokes who can be his own worst enemy sometimes because he wants to play," he said.

"These are bigger games now and we're pretty desperate to win and he wants to be part of that.

"He was keen to play last week (against South Sydney) so he's probably fortunate he didn't because it could have ended his season."

Melbourne found their mojo last weekend with a 46-6 win over Penrith after losing five games in a row and the Titans will have to be at their best at AAMI Park On Friday night.

Gillmeister's knowledge of Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk from his seven years in Queensland Origin camps will be helpful is minimising the damage of the Storm trio who form the best spine in the game.

"It's not do or die, but we don't want to rely on other teams to win or lose," said Gillmeister.


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