BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 30: Euan Aitken of the Warriors is tackled during the round 20 NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the New Zealand Warriors at Suncorp Stadium, on July 30, 2021, in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

Warrior Euan Aitken believes the upcoming season is crunch time for New Zealand.

The Warriors have endured a tough last couple of seasons with Covid restrictions forcing them to spend a lot of time away from home during those seasons. However, despite the obvious impairments, the Warriors won't be pleased with their finishes in 2020 and 2021.

Finishing 10th in 2020 and 12th in 2021, the Warriors are desperate to play finals footy in 2022 and Aitken believes the club should settle for nothing less.

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“It’s definitely a make or break season for the squad,” Aitken told Stuff.co in New Zealand.

“We’ve got a similar squad for the next year or two, so if this squad wants to be successful or play finals footy, this is the year to do it.

“If we do that this year, it will set us up nicely for the following years.

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“It’s a big year for us, a big year for the club. Everyone wants to play finals, there’s a lot of commitment and hunger in the squad.

“We’ve set ourselves high standards that anything less than finals footy will be a disappointment.”

Aitken has been a very flexible asset for the Warriors recently and understands that he may be deployed in the back row for Round one.

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“He has mentioned that he’ll look to use me in both (second row and centre), but it looks like I’ll start the year playing in the back row,” Aitken said.

He (Nathan Brown) thought it would strengthen our team defensively with leg speed and also it gives the team extra interchange, because I can play 80 minutes,”

“So he thought it was more valuable to the team with me being in the second row.”