Simon Mannering is at loss to explain the Warriors' lack of NRL consistency - but concedes time is running out to right the ship.
The former skipper will make his return against Canberra in New Plymouth on Saturday night after missing the club's last two matches and the Kiwis' Test loss to the Kangaroos because of a facial injury.
The Warriors occupy 13th spot on the ladder with a 4-6 record and have struggled to gain traction in their bid to make the top eight, with every win over the past six rounds followed by a loss.
Mannering, a veteran of 244 first-grade appearances, says he can't put a finger on the lack of consistency.
"Our preparation is consistent and generally that flows on to the field but it hasn't," he said.
"We have to get that right because we're running out of games. We've got to start getting points."
While Mannering will be back in action at Yarrow Stadium, another club stalwart, winger Manu Vatuvei, remains on the sidelines as he works through personal matters.
Vatuvei was given a medical leave of absence after being among six players disciplined for a late night out, but has since returned to training.
"Knowing Manu, he's a very strong person and he will come back from this and be better for it," Mannering said.
Asked if Vatuvei was back to his usual self, Mannering said: "You never notice anything different with Manu - he's always got a smile on his face.
"He'll be back when he's ready and the guys can't wait to get him back on the field."