Michael Maguire has rubbished reports Wests Tigers are trying to offload skipper Moses Mbye, saying he's still wanted by the under-performing NRL club.
Ahead of their must-win Bankwest Stadium clash on Sunday with battlers Canterbury, Maguire said the Queensland State of Origin player was part of the Tigers' future.
They were reports the club was prepared to pay half of Mbye's $800,000-per-season salary for the next two years to give him to a rival team, with the Gold Coast Titans named as an interested party.
"I don't know where that came from, it's incorrect," Maguire said on Saturday.
"When you go through moments in time, like we are, there's all sorts of things being put out there but we've got a team that's very focused on what we want to do tomorrow.
"Moses' drive for what we want to achieve here is no different from when he started."
The Tigers are sitting just outside the eight but have won only one of their last six games, with Maguire admitting their finals hopes were on life support.
"It's the truth - it's about where we are we and we need to get out and perform because before you know it it's the end," he said.
"We set a goal about where we want to get to and that hasn't changed."
Wests Tigers scored a comprehensive 34-6 win over the Bulldogs in their round-seven meeting but Maguire wasn't taking anything for granted.
The Bulldogs were crushed by in-form Melbourne last round but only lost their three matches before that by a converted try or less.
"We've got to expect anything - they will throw everything at you."
Meanwhile, Mbye's centre partner Joey Leilua is set to line up after being cleared by the NRL for his time outside the NRL bubble.
Maguire said Leilua drove to Canberra to drop his children with his mother-in-law.
"He did that and came straight back and I think it was blown way out of proportion," the coach said.
"Joey went down to something that had already being checked and that was required of the situation."
STATS THAT MATTER:
* Wests Tigers are busting the second most tackles (30.8 per game), with Canterbury ranked last (17.5 per game).
* Almost 40 per cent of the Tigers tries conceded this season (19 of 49) have come from kicks, the highest percentage in the league.
* This match will see Benji Marshall play against his brother Jeremy Marshall-King for the fifth time, with the younger brother winning three of the four matches.
Source: Fox Sports Stats
Australian Associated Press