Gold Coast's Mitch Rein has little doubt that struggling NRL teammate Bryce Cartwright is feeling the heat of criticism.
The former Penrith star has been in the sights of NRL pundits in the past fortnight, with his defensive efforts again questioned in the Titans' Saturday night loss to Melbourne.
Rein said it would be no surprise if the attention was getting to Cartwright, given the level of scrutiny, but he was adamant Cartwright was working hard to rediscover form.
"He's copping a fair bit of criticism, every time I go on the phone he's copping a lot of s***, in the paper and that from everyone," Rein said.
"If everyone's going at you 24/7 you'd have to buy a little bit into it.
"He's a great player and everyone knows how skilful he is and he's working really hard to do everything he can."
Cartwright was on the receiving end last weekend from retired star Michael Ennis, who said the utility was not up to NRL standard and letting down his coach Garth Brennan.
Brennan agreed he needed more from the 23-year-old, who was shifted from five-eighth to his more preferred bench forward role against the Storm.
His defence was again an issue when Cameron Munster breezed by his right shoulder for a second-half try that sealed the Storm's win and fifth successive Titans loss.
However Brennan gave a positive assessment of his performance after the game and the Panthers junior is unlikely to lose his spot in the side as the Titans battle a raft of injury concerns.
Will Matthews, Jack Stockwell (concussion) and Kevin Proctor (groin) are all in doubt for Saturday's clash with Newcastle, however Jai Arrow and Nathan Peats (ribs) are both a chance of returning.
Australian Associated Press