Trent Robinson says Latrell Mitchell's NSW Origin axing and subsequent fallout will prove the making of the precocious Roosters centre in the long run.
Mitchell will get his first chance to answer the mountain of criticism and speculation from the past fortnight when he and the premiers take on Melbourne in Adelaide, with Storm mentor Craig Bellamy calling for the 22-year-old's detractors to stop "kicking him in the head while he's down".
Robinson told reporters that Mitchell has been in good spirits since his shock dumping from Blues duty just moments after scoring two tries in a last start-win over Canterbury 11 days ago.
The Roosters coach sidestepped suggestions Mitchell could refuse to play for NSW in future in response to being dropped after a lacklustre Origin I outing.
"Anybody who represents the Blues and is available is available for selection," Robinson said of Mitchell's immediate representative future.
"But that's not a concern for me or Latrell. That's up to those guys (NSW selectors).
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"Tomorrow night is his next opportunity to go out there and play well and keep improving on what we want and what he wants."
Robinson was more forthcoming on the press and pressure Mitchell has endured for much of 2019.
While the memory of Mitchell booming a 40-metre, golden point field goal in the Storm's last clash with the Roosters in April remains clear for Bellamy – "he basically won the game for them down in Melbourne, some of the things he did that night was incredible" – the young star has yo-yoed through plenty since.
Match-winning performances and fierce focus on his playing future have been followed by private family tragedies and then the events set in motion by Origin I.
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Robinson believes the turbulence can prove Mitchell's making.
"I think people see this as a negative," Robinson said.
"This is a positive for his career … you think about the last couple of months in his life. How many people have told him he's a superstar and how many have told him he's not good enough?
"So who do you listen to? You listen to the people that are important to you, and you listen to the people that are going to tell you the truth. And then you discard the rest.
"He's just turned 22, it's a pretty good lesson to learn and he's still got 10 years of trying to get the best out of his footy.
"I like the fact that [pressure] gets put on different players and they have to learn how to handle that.
"That's a part of the 80 minutes - the Monday to Friday and the questions that get asked. If you can put it in the right spot, then you become a great player and that's what he's on the way to doing."
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Speaking earlier on Thursday, Bellamy went into bat for the opposition game breaker.
"I think everyone is open to that criticism, and it can be very harsh at times and can be very ongoing, to be quite honest," Bellamy said.
"That just seems to be part of our game now … I don't think he's deserved the amount of criticism that he's got ... he's a wonderful young player. We should encourage him more so than keep kicking him in the head while he's down."
The Roosters have named both Boyd Cordner and James Cordner to back up on five day turnarounds from Origin II, though Tongan Sitili Tupouniua drops off their bench after his international debut on the weekend.
Matt Ikuvalu has also been brought in onto the wing in place of Englishman Ryan Hall, while Brett Morris and Lachlan Lam may yet come into the Roosters game day 17.
The Storm's Origin players are all expected to back up. Joe Stimson replaced Marion Seve in the centres on Thursday.