Dyldam Parramatta Eels forward David Gower says the Eels have not been pleased with their last two starts and the forward expects a performance the side can be proud of this week, when they take on the Newcastle Knights at Hunter Stadium.
After losses to the Wests Tigers and Titans, Gower acknowledged that the Blue and Gold had fallen out of the contest against their opponents and that the side was looking forward to rectifying that this week.
“We have put two pretty disappointing performances in a row and we pride ourselves on competing for 80 minutes and unfortunately for the last two weeks we haven’t done that,” Gower said.
“We are training hard. We trained hard this morning and we have another session after this and we are looking forward to making sure we are on top of all the things that have been letting us down,” the forward said this morning (Tuesday 14 April).
Coming up against the fifth played Knights, Gower knows the Eels are faced with a tough road trip.
“The Knights started their season off with 4 wins in a row and I think they have dropped the last couple but they are back at home in front of their fans and they will be looking to bounce back strong,” Gower said of their opponents.
“We understand that a road trip up to Newcastle is a hard game and we have to perform and compete on every level for 80 minutes or we will have three bad games in a row and that’s not something we want to do.”
With the Eels looking to come away with the two points this weekend, Gower pinpointed areas that the side needs to improve on.
“It’s just about being competitive for 80 minutes,” Gower said.
“We just step out of a game for 3-4 minutes, and it’s a one on one missed tackle here or there and on the weekend two intercepts, a couple of tries on the wings that were man on man that shouldn’t of happened."
“I don’t know if it’s a little bit of mental toughness we need to improve on but its making sure we are in every minute of every tackle of every play.”
Gower urged the Blue and Gold Army to stick strong and support the side who were also hurting after their last two losses.
“As far as the fans, they just need to stick strong with us,” Gower said.
“We are trying, and we aren’t going out there on purpose to play poorly. We are proud men and it hurts us as much as them so if they can get on board and support us, we are trying our guts out for them at training five days a week and we need their support.”
Eels captain Tim Mannah and halfback Chris Sandow will feature in their 150th NRL game this weekend and Gower said the Eels will be ready for the contest in their milestone game.
“Milestone games are big for everyone, and especially for Tim Mannah our club captain and Chris Sandow has been here for 4 years so as mates of ours, it means a lot for us to make sure milestone games are important.”
“At the forefront of our mind, it’s making sure we are playing well and making sure we compete for 80 minutes and we turn up to every play of every minute because if we do that, we are pretty sure we will be in the contest right until the death.”
The Eels will take on the Newcastle Knights at Hunter Stadium on Sunday 19 April with kick off at 4pm.