Gold Coast forward Kevin Proctor believes the NRL club have been guilty of looking too far ahead and need to forget about finals footy until they can find form on the field.
Touted as an outside chance to sneak into the top four before the 2021 campaign kicked off, the Titans are ninth on the ladder with four wins and six losses.
Sunday's 48-12 thrashing by table-topping Penrith continued a worrying defensive trend which has led to Gold Coast conceding a whopping 188-points in their past five matches - a run that has yielded just one victory.
Proctor believes pre-season hype after the arrivals of star forwards David Fifita and Tino Fa'asuamaleaui had allowed some to believe success would just land in the Titans' laps.
"It's not make or break yet, it's only round 10," Proctor said before Saturday's home clash with Canterbury.
"We've just got to stop thinking about that and stop seeming to get so far ahead, just think week-by-week.
"Just get some consistency in our game instead of thinking too far ahead and getting ahead of ourselves.
"We had big wraps on us at the start of the year and everyone thought a bit too far ahead.
"We just have to focus on the week-to-week, playing consistent footy."
The Titans will face the Bulldogs at CBUS Super Stadium without Herman Ese'ese and Tyrone Peachey, who are both suspended after taking early pleas on separate charges from last weekend's loss to the Panthers.
Fifita is also missing as he serves the second match of a two-game ban for a high tackle on Wests Tigers' Adam Doueihi.
Ese'ese's high shot on Penrith's Brian To'o that led to his sending off left coach Justin Holbrook bewildered and Proctor said the 26-year-old forward had shown plenty of remorse for his decision.
"I'm just trying to give him some support because he probably feels bad," Proctor said.
"He's apologised to the group. I know he didn't mean to do that ... he'll learn from this."
Australian Associated Press