Joey to return, Patten blames hype

Newcastle captain Andrew Johns has been named to make his return from a bout of concussion in his team's round three match against Canberra on Monday night.

Johns must still obtain a final medical clearance but coach Brian Smith is confident the skipper will be able to take his place at Canberra Stadium. Johns has not played since being stretchered off early in the first round match with the Bulldogs following a high tackle which saw Sonny Bill Williams suspended for two matches.

Meanwhile, Bullodgs fullback Luke Patten has accused his Bulldogs teammates of letting the pre-season hype over the NRL team's strong premiership hopes get to their heads.

The Bulldogs are equal third favourites to win the 2007 title behind Melbourne and North Queensland, despite a 0-2 start to their season. But Patten says the Bulldogs have a handful of youngsters still finding their feet in first grade and don't deserve to be tagged among the premiership favourites.

He's warned the Gold Coast Titans to expect a vicious backlash from the Bulldogs at Telstra Stadium on Sunday following his side's embarrassing loss to Penrith last week.