Payne's call for NYC to aim up

North Queensland Toyota Cowboys under-20s coach Aaron Payne says he was far from satisfied with his team’s last outing despite a third straight win.

And the mentor warns that Saturday’s opponent Gold Coast would be a tougher proposition than their one-win, two-loss record indicates.

The National Youth Competition Cowboys will be looking to consolidate top spot on the ladder with their fourth straight victory this weekend when they're hosted by the Titans at Ned Byrne Oval, Cudgen, on the New South Wales side of the border.

“We were really poor (versus the Sea Eagles) on the weekend despite winning,” Payne said. “I don’t think a lot of the guys’ attitudes were right leading into the match.

“I think they thought they were just going turn up and it was just going to happen. That’s one thing we’ve addressed and those blokes have got their opportunity to right their wrongs this weekend.”

Payne said the Titans – led by prop Max King – were a dangerous proposition despite a mixed start to the season.

“The Titans are a team that supports really well and they’re going a lot better than their position on the ladder,” he said.

King made his NRL debut last weekend in the Titans’ courageous win over the Eels, the dangerous prop no doubt buoyed by his positive experience in the top grade.

For the Cowboys, Payne expects the team to run out 1-17, with a slight injury doubt over utility Duarne Dempsey (shoulder), who will be given until late Friday to prove his fitness.

Strike centre Enari Tuala is also expected to play after originally being called into the extended NRL squad as injury cover for Kyle Feldt, who trained unhindered on Friday and should be right for the Titans clash.