DESPITE Blake Austin’s imminent arrival, Dec Patton still has eyes on a half-back role with The Wire

Patton has been impressive in recent weeks when coming off the bench at hooker and his performances were rewarded with a new two-year deal last month.

The 23-year-old is getting more and more used to the role but says he does not see the switch as a long-term one despite the marquee signing of Canberra Raiders playmaker Austin from next season.

“I’m just about getting used to hooker now. I’m doing it for the team but I’m enjoying it,” he said.

“I seem to be going pretty well at the minute and the team is as well, so if staying there makes us carry in doing well then I’m happy to do it.

“I hadn’t played much dummy-half before, apart from maybe 10 minutes in the Grand Final when Chris Sandow came on.

“The defensive side of it is a bit different. I’ve changed my game a little bit so I’m learning each week.

“It is completely different to half-back. It’s all about controlling the forwards and bringing them onto the ball.

“Usually when I come on, the lads are pretty tired so I try to give them a bit of a pick-up.

“It is another string to my bow.

“I don’t mind playing hooker, but I do want to be a half-back at the end of the day.”

Patton is set to play his new role once again tonight, Thursday, when Catalans Dragons visit The Halliwell Jones Stadium.

The game comes less than a week after Friday’s heart-breaking 13-12 defeat to Wigan, but the former Latchford Albion junior says the short turnaround suits them.

“We knew we were off at Wigan, but we gave it our all. We were just gutted with the manner of how it happened,” he said.

“The short turnaround has been good for us, because we haven’t had too much time to dwell on it.

“Catalans are in hot form at the minute so we’ve had to put all our concentration on them.

“They are a big pack, so it’s going to be a tough grind through the middle.

“We’re going to have to dominate their forwards fitness-wise by keeping the ball in play.

“If we keep turning them round, hopefully we’ll come out with the right result.”