As blunt messages go, Kiwi coach Michael Maguire delivered Shaun Johnson a doozy after the playmaker's pedestrian display against Australia in Wollongong.
"Don't play s**t and you stay in the team. Pretty simple really," the mercurial Cronulla halfback recalled of their matter-of-fact review.
Johnson wasn't seeking excuses for a performance in the 26-4 hiding from the Kangaroos which resulted in his dumping for last week's 12-8 win over Great Britain.
A serious shoulder injury suffered by Kieran Foran at Eden Park resulted in a recall for Johnson for Saturday's second and final Test against the British in Christchurch.
The 29-year-old had soaked up Maguire's criticism and reckoned he responded with one of his best training weeks last week, even though he wasn't playing.
Getting a start in what will be his last game of a roller-coaster season - having left the Warriors for Cronulla and offered only sporadic glimpses of his class - had Johnson determined not to let down his country again.
"We've got certain standards around our footy side and I didn't meet them in the Australia game so I understand that.
"I came out and worked hard last week. You're your own harshest critic. I've got certain standards that I want to play at and that's all I'm looking at doing. I'm sure if I do that, everyone will be happy."
There are two other changes to the Kiwis starting team.
Hooker Brandon Smith returns in place of Kodi Nikorima after being stood down for disciplinary reasons last week while Kenny Bromwich has been demoted to an extended bench while he awaits the birth of his second child in Melbourne. Second-rower Corey Harawira-Naera is set to start in his place.
Meanwhile, Johnson said he was "gutted" for Foran who faces at least six months off after undergoing exploratory surgery on his shoulder.
The long-time Test teammate was one player who didn't warrant that sort of luck after other injuries and personal problems had plagued him in recent years, Johnson said.
"My heart sunk for him. Obviously I've been pretty close with him since we've been playing at the Kiwis and then when he came to the Warriors.
"I've seen the journey Kieran's been on and the amount of resilience he's shown to get to a position to represent his country again.
"A lot of people don't see it and wouldn't understand (but) I'm confident he's going to bounce back. He's in a really good place with his body and mentally."
Australian Associated Press