Signs are promising for Cowboys: Payten

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North Queensland are a reinvigorated outfit but coach Todd Payten is adamant the best is yet to come as the Cowboys prepare for a return NRL clash with the Warriors.

After a less-than-impressive start to the 2021 season, the Cowboys have improved to share a 5-6 record with the Warriors.

Their position on the table is separated only by a points differential with the Warriors ninth and the Cowboys in 10th ahead of Friday night's clash in Townsville.

Payten says credit must be given to the entire club for the turnaround.

"I think it's a positive sign for us, it's a whole different feeling to what it was in the first four weeks, and I've got to give credit to our playing group and I've got to give credit to our staff," he said on Tuesday.

"We never really wavered, the players turn up every day and wanted to improve and from that respect it's a good sign.

"Also, understanding that we're still a way off the top teams and our best foot is in front of us - that part of it excites me."

After a second-half comeback, the Cowboys fell short in round eight, losing 24-20.

But winger Kyle Feldt says the focus will be the continuation of a winning streak in front of their home fans.

"He's (Payten) has really emphasised the way we started the year 0-4 and the opportunity we've got right now going into our week off with the bye coming up," Feldt told AAP.

"We've got this option to go six and six and we're basically starting from scratch when we come back from the bye, so we're all looking forward to this weekend.

"We're just really focused on this week and we'll take whatever we can get, but I know personally that we've got a really good opportunity especially coming off a good win on the weekend."

While captain Jason Taumalolo will miss Friday's clash due to suspension, the Cowboys will be bolstered by the return of Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow in the centres.

The Cowboys flyer replaces Connelly Lemuelu (thumb), following seven weeks on the sidelines for a foot injury.

Coen Hess also returns to the starting side after passing a head injury assessment.

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