New South Wales legend Brad Fittler says there's plenty of time for under-fire halves Trent Hodkinson and Josh Reynolds to find form prior to this year's Origin series.
But he also wants to see how they react to the negative criticism.
The Bulldogs pair came under fire this week from another Blues icon in Andrew Johns, who said he was "terrified" by the current form of the incumbent NSW duo.
With Origin I still over a month away, Fittler jumped to the defence of the drought-breaking duo.
"Origin's six weeks away. I understand Joey's comments based on last week and maybe their form hasn't been outstanding," he said at a City Origin engagement at Liverpool on Wednesday.
"[But] they're not at the bottom of the table, Canterbury. And Josh Reynolds hasn't played that much. There's still six weeks to go, there's a lot of time to impress the coach in six weeks."