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The Dyldam Parramatta Eels take on the Penrith Panthers at Pepper Stadium this Friday night and Eels Head Coach Brad Arthur said that the Blue and Gold will need to remain positive, stay in the contest and the results will turn soon.

Arthur has been satisfied with the Blue and Gold’s performances the past few weeks, however pinpointed crucial errors at a crucial times that cost his side over the last couple of weeks.

“I think we have to stick to what we have been doing because it has been alright,” Arthur said when asked of what the Eels need to do to come away with the two points.

“We have had a couple of crucial errors at a couple of crucial times in the game which has cost us in the last couple of weeks, which is more of an individual thing than a team thing.”

“The effort has been there, and we have to stick to the effort. When you are in a rut and losing, luck doesn’t go your way but you have keep sticking at it and sticking at it and hopefully it will turn, but it needs to turn really soon for us.”

Arthur confirmed that his side was still positive and upbeat, despite not tasting victory over the past four rounds.

“At the moment, they are still positive and upbeat and they are very aware if we stick to what we keep doing, and do it just a little bit better, it will turn.” Arthur said.

Eels centre Will Hopoate was the lone Blue and Gold representative in last night’s Origin clash and Arthur confirmed he came through the physical clash unscathed and would be ready to take the field against the Panthers.

“’Hop’ tried hard and had some good touches. I thought he was very safe, they kicked to him a bit and he handled himself well,” Arthur said of Hopoate’s Origin efforts.

“I spoke to him briefly this morning but he pulled up okay. He won’t train with us this morning but he will have a bit of a recovery session and get his head around what needs to happen with us moving in to tomorrow night’s game.”

“’Hop’ has had his head around that he wanted to play after Origin. We hadn’t really spoken about it before he went away but he is really keen to play,” Arthur added.

Arthur named a 17 man side this week that includes the return of Chris Sandow named at halfback whilst Joseph Paulo returns to the bench, and the Head Coach spoke about the decision of not naming Luke Kelly.

“We have picked our team to be salary cap compliant,” Arthur said.

“I don’t know if Luke Kelly did enough to not be in the team. In the past two weeks out of the six tries we have scored, he has set up five of them, made a total of 60 tackles and just missed two. “

“It is unfortunate but that’s just the way it is,” he added.

“Luke is a strong kid and is aware of the situation and he will try very hard to not let that affect him. When he gets another opportunity, I am sure he will be ready for it.”

The Eels will take on the Penrith Panthers at Pepper Stadium this Friday night. Kick off at 7:45pm.

Acknowledgement of Country

Parramatta Eels respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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