Cartwright: I’ve let Titans coach down
BRYCE Cartwright can cope with the external flak but it's the feeling he has let coach Garth Brennan down that's eating away at the mercurial ballplayer as he attempts to rediscover his best form on the Gold Coast.
After sticking with his last-minute recruit for the opening 10 round of competition, Brennan's patience finally wore thin last week, with Cartwright dropped to find form and confidence in the Intrust Super Cup.
The former Panther had attracted stinging criticism for his lacklustre efforts and while he earnt an eleventh-hour reprieve when Kevin Proctor failed to pass a fitness test, the jury is still out after he played just 18 minutes off the bench in the Titans' thrilling win over Newcastle.
Cartwright has faced plenty of scrutiny in his young career.
And while he knows to ignore the white noise off the field, it is the belief he may have let Brennan down after the Titans coach threw him a career lifeline that is hurting Cartwright the most.
"That's probably been the worst feeling about it, I probably feel like I've let him down in the past 10 rounds," Cartwright said.
"I've just got to keep improving and repay the faith for him.
That's probably my biggest regret is just letting him down these past two months and I've just got to keep improving for him and for the team.
Released by the Panthers late in the off-season, Cartwright joined the Titans late and has struggled to fit into the team, playing at lock, five-eighth and in the second row in the opening rounds of the season.
Mentioned as a likely NSW Origin player just two years ago, Cartwright's game has suffered recently and while genuine criticism is warranted, some have taken the opportunity to have pot shots at the 23-year-old.
"Sometimes it is (difficult to block out) but I just go back to worrying about the opinions of my teammates and the Titans family and my family and just the people I care about," he said.
"All the outside noise I probably don't take too much notice of because I only worry about the opinions of people I care about and that's all that matters.
"In parts of my game (I feel I have let Brennan down) but I've still got so much more to offer.
"I'm just trying to build each week and get better and do what's best for the team."
While Brennan said Cartwright deserved a chance to play to answer his critics, proving other people wrong is not what's motivating the young gun.
"I need to prove to myself that I belong here and get back to playing some good footy," Cartwright said, revealing his own doubt.
"It's probably more proving myself wrong and that will prove the other people wrong after that.
"Just the way I've been performing, it plays in the back of your head that you're not playing the best and I want to prove myself wrong first and play some good footy."