Michael Lichaa fronted the media today to discuss the teams’ performance against the Titans, Origin scheduling and the Panthers.

After a disappointing performance against the Titans in round 14 minus a number of key players, Lichaa doesn’t see that as an excuse as to why the result didn’t go the way of the Bulldogs.

“It didn’t help missing five in Origin, as well as James Graham and T Rex (Tony Williams),” Lichaa said. “We can’t use that as an excuse because we knew we would have boys in Origin this year and we knew this time of year was coming.

“It’s unfortunate to have them out, but we still need to win those games.”

A lot has been spoken about over recent days surrounding the Origin scheduling and whether there is a better way to structure the Origin period, but for Lichaa although some teams are disadvantaged more so than others, it gives young guys a great opportunity to show what they can do.

“Some teams only miss one player, while others miss five. But it gives young kids an opportunity to come through like Shaun Lane and he showed what he can do.

“It works both ways and I’m sure they will sort it out.”

The Panthers have beaten the Bulldogs on three of the last four occasions these two sides have met and they welcome back a key figure in Jamie Soward this weekend.

“He is there leader and a very good player and his inclusion is a big boost for the Panthers.”

The Bulldogs will sweat on the fitness of their five Origin players and whether they will back up from Origin two, but for the Bulldogs the focus needs to be on themselves in order to get the two points this weekend.

“We know if we complete over 80 or 85% we should be in it until the end.

“We need to hold onto the ball, because that seems to be our biggest problem at the moment.”