Warriors coach Stephen Kearney has opted for the carrot, rather than the stick, in his approach to turning along the team's flagging fortunes.

The Auckland team nosedived badly in the second half against the Storm last Saturday, losing 32-10 after being ahead 10-2 after 35 minutes.

It wasn't the first time this year the Warriors have been outplayed on home soil – they haven't won at Mt Smart since the first week of April, and it continued a worrying trend, with a couple of exceptions, of the team failing to rise to the occasion in the pressure moments.

Senior forward Adam Blair admitted post-match that the team "wasn't tough enough as a group" during those episodes and there can be a collective tendency to drop their heads when things go against them.

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Coupled with the performance, it was the kind of admission that might send other coaches into a tailspin – witness Craig Bellamy's outburst after the Storm's surprise loss to the Sharks last month, which Jesse Bromwich labelled as one of the worst 'sprays' he had endured.

Kearney takes a different approach from his longtime mentor, and was focused on lightening the mood this week, ahead of Friday's game on the Gold Coast.

"When we are playing our best footy we are enjoying ourselves," said Kearney. "There are guys that if they haven't got a smile on their face I know they are not enjoying their jobs."

"It was important that I gave them that message [on Tuesday and] that's why you heard a little bit of laughter around the place and good spirits, because we are that kind of footy team."

Agnatius Paasi of the Warriors is tackled by Dale Finucane of the Storm. Photo / Photosport
Agnatius Paasi of the Warriors is tackled by Dale Finucane of the Storm. Photo / Photosport

The Warriors did look frenzied and frazzled last Saturday; minds were muddled, natural instincts were submerged and the second half was riddled with mistakes and missed tackles, even from some of the more reliable performers.

Kearney is no doubt feeling the pressure – the club's four win, eight loss start is their equal worst after 12 games since 2000 – but he isn't yet showing it.

He admits the team need to focus on 80-minute performances and is hopeful that a "couple of adjustments" will result in improvements on the Sunshine strip.

Blake Green, Issac Luke, Karl Lawton and Blake Ayshford all missed Tuesday's training with a gastro bug, though Kearney expects the quartet to be available.

"We'll have to see how they pull up," said Kearney. "I'm pretty hopeful and the doctor reckons it's a 24-hour thing."

It will need to be for Luke and Lawton, as Nathaniel Roache (back) is still two weeks away from an NRL return while Jazz Tevaga (ankle) is tracking well but won't be ready for a sustained stint at dummy half.

Tohu Harris also missed some of the session, as he continues to nurse his lingering knee problem.

Kearney also confirmed the second rower won't be available for next week's test against Tonga.

Harris has barely participated in training over the past month for the Warriors and has informed Kiwis coach Michael Maguire that his knee issues wouldn't stand up to the intensity of a test build up, as well as the 80 minute contest.

Warriors team to face the Titans:

1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (C)
2 David Fusitu'a
3 Peta Hiku
4 Patrick Herbert
5 Ken Maumalo
6 Kodi Nikorima
7 Blake Green
8 Agnastius Paasi
9 Issac Luke
10 Leeson Ah Mau
11 Isaiah Papali'i
12 Tohu Harris
13 Adam Blair

Interchange:

14 Jazz Tevaga
15 Bunty Afoa
16 Lachlan Burr
17 Karl Lawton
18 Gerard Beale
20 Chanel Harris-Tavita
21 Ligi Sao
22 Leivaha Pulu