Michael Maguire insists there's no reason the Wests Tigers can't reach Melbourne's standards despite Cooper Cronk's claims the Storm is the best place for Harry Grant.
Grant is quickly becoming one of the hottest names in the NRL, and currently sits second in the Dally M count in his rookie season while on loan from the Storm.
Melbourne are insistent they will have their man back at the end of the season, regardless of whether Cameron Smith carries on into a 20th year in the NRL.
The Tigers have meanwhile ducked and weaved questions over the prospect of keeping the 22-year-old, but would naturally love to have the hooker stay at the club
Former Melbourne playmaker Cronk hit headlines this week by recommending the Storm as the best fit for Grant when urging him to stick with the ultra-successful club to continue his development.
But Maguire, who spent time in Melbourne's system as an under-20s coach and NRL assistant, said there was no reason why the Tigers couldn't reach the levels achieved by the Storm.
"Coops is not aware of what's going on in this club," Maguire said.
"There are a lot of things shifting in this club and everywhere around the club we're in a changing place.
"You can see that by the dedication the players have every day at training. That is the key to the successful clubs I have been around.
"I have seen the club he is talking about, where it started and to get to where it's got to. We're no different, we're chasing that very fast."
Maguire insisted he took no offence from Cronk's comments, with the pair having worked together in his time at the Storm.
The Tigers are quickly becoming one of the tightest teams around the middle in the NRL, with their defence having been shored up in recent weeks.
Grant's match-up with rival No.9 Apisai Koroisau shapes as one of the key battles in Saturday night's clash with Penrith.
Koroisau runs out of dummy-half more than any other player in the league, while Grant's timing on when to do so is up there with the best.
The youngster has scored two tries this season while also setting another two, while his Dally M ranking is impressive considering he did not play the first two rounds.
"We've certainly done a bit of work on Harry Grant," Panthers coach Ivan Cleary admitted.
"He's been very good for them and dangerous out of dummy-half.
"He provides a spark. We'll try and limit his involvement as much we can and they're probably thinking the same way about Api."
STATS THAT MATTER
* The Tigers have scored 20 or more points in all but three games this year.
* Since the resumption, Penrith have not conceded more than 14 points in a game.
* The Tigers' right edge have scored 17 tries this year, the most in the NRL.
Australian Associated Press