Wests Tigers five-eighth Mitchell Moses has praised coach Jason Taylor for loosening the shackles that sapped him of his confidence last season.
The 21-year-old prodigy admitted his form had fallen so far under Taylor’s rigid structures last year that he even doubted whether he was cut for the NRL.
“I was low on confidence last year and I definitely wasn’t playing my best footy. There were times there where I doubted `am I good enough to play?'” Moses told AAP.
But he garnered enough courage to challenge Taylor on the playing style midway through 2015 and begged for him and partner-in-crime Luke Brooks to be allowed to return to their instinctive ways.
“I had to do something because if I sat back, I knew it was going to suffer even more,” he said.
“You could see, we changed our style of footy towards the end of the year and it helped because we won a few games there. We beat Melbourne the week we changed it up and we almost beat the Broncos up there.
“This year you watch – it’ll be a lot better.”
Moses, who is set to take on the goalkicking duties from departed winger Pat Richards this year, lauded Taylor for being open to moving away from the style that Moses believed was strangling their attacking weapons.
“Normally when a new coach comes in, he’s going to be dominant, which I think JT thought he had to be,” he said.
“But I think he’s realised that he’s got the players here that he can listen to and let them play a bit of footy. It’s been the best thing – he’s been real open this pre-season.
“As long as he’s liking it, it’s got the okay.”
A groin injury limited Moses from practising his goalkicking up until two weeks ago, but he is ready to embrace the big boots left behind by Richards.
“I had a few groin injuries so I was trying to hold back the whole pre-season so I haven’t done any goalkicking at all,” he said.
“But I like the responsibility. I’ve kicked through my whole juniors so if I have the job, I’ll take it with both hands.”