Dyldam Parramatta Eels Head Coach Brad Arthur admits it’s been a long week for the Blue and Gold as they look to erase the memories of a Round 25 loss against the Canberra Raiders on Saturday.
Following the 42-12 defeat in Newcastle, Arthur pointed to attitude as the focus for his side during the week.
“It’s been a long week waiting for tomorrow to come,” Arthur said on Friday.
“We did our review on Tuesday as we usually do and we were very honest, and the boys copped it on the chin.”
“I gave them a spray at halftime [last week], but it didn’t work. And there’s no point coming back here and spraying them it’s just about being honest. I don’t have to say too much, the video shows it all.”
“We don’t have to go and reinvent the wheel and learn how to tackle; we know how to ankle we’ve just got to want to do it.”
The Eels may be able to keep their finals hopes alive with a win in Canberra, but Arthur said the top eight wasn’t on his mind heading into the final round of the season.
“At the end of the day, we’re playing for pride,” Arthur said.
“We need to focus on getting some pride back and we need to play for our fans. Our fans have been great for us all year and they deserve better this week.”
“We know there’s a semi-finals spot there, but that’s out of our control. What’s not out of our control is how we turn that performance last week around and finish the year on a positive.”
“Where that takes us, it takes us.”
With Ben Smith unavailable for the Raiders clash due to suspension, second-rowers Pauli Pauli and Manu Ma’u are both possible additions to the line-up. For Ma’u, it would be his first appearance following surgery on a fractured forearm in July.
“He’s trained with us (Manu Ma’u) but it’s a delicate area so we just need to make sure he’s 100% right,’ Arthur said.
“He’s keen and obviously adds a bit of confidence as well, but in saying that we’ve had the same blokes over the last 5 or 6 weeks that have done the job.”
“So we don’t need to be making changes to the team, we just need to make a change to our attitude.”