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Dyldam Parramatta Eels Head Coach Brad Arthur says he needs his side to step up physically tomorrow when the Blue and Gold take on the Newcastle Knights in front of a home crowd at Pirtek Stadium. 

After the Knights broke their winning drought last Monday and with the Eels rebounding from a loss, Arthur says he’s been working on improving attitude in defence. 

“We’ve trained really well and the pleasing thing for me is we’ve had a few [bad] performances but we’ve always come back to training and been really honest with our review, and [we haven’t] tried to hide from the truth,” Arthur said. 

“We need to be physical this week, Newcastle are a big, strong side and we need to be on our game.”

Despite the Eels being unbeaten at Pirtek Stadium this season, Arthur says he’s not putting any pressure on the players to continue. 

“I’m not big on records, I’m big on making sure we can get better on a weekly basis and that we can continue to work hard,” he said. 

“They’ve got some confidence, they’ve made a couple of adjustments to their halves and they’ll see that as the key, but it’s more about our defensive attitude.”

Arthur says he’s been noticing a big improvement in the Eels’ younger players, who have stepped up and made their mark in 2014. 

“We’ve got to continue to challenge them weekly about their own performances, and then also as a team,” Arthur said. 

“All year we’ve had two or three good efforts together, but we can’t aim up the following week, so we need to bounce back this week.”

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