Mannah: Positive Eels Focussed on Friday
Dyldam Parramatta Eels skipper Tim Mannah has singled out the consistently positive atmosphere at Eels training over the past few months as the secret behind their three-match winning streak.
Despite media speculation over 2016 recruits to the club, and the future of past players - including former fullback Jarryd Hayne - Mannah says the hype and the uncertainty don’t often intrude into the team environment.
In fact, Mannah’s good mate and NFL hopeful might even have envied the buzz at Eels HQ when he stopped by to watch a recent training session.
“It was good to see Jarryd, and I’m sure he’s missing the place a bit,” Mannah said.
“But I think we’ve done a good job of not worrying about what we don’t have [anymore].”
For the Eels, Mannah says that philosophy is one that applies to the side’s footy over the last month as much as it does to past seasons.
“We’re not really looking too far behind us, and I don’t think we can gain much by looking back,” Mannah said.
“All we can do is control what we can control, which is training as well as we can today and playing as well as we can on Friday night.”
“I think the coaches have done a really good job of protecting us from all that off-field drama: you hear bits and pieces but as a playing group we were pretty protected from it.”
“Once you’re inside here, it’s a really good place to be and the environment and the boys’ attitude to their training has been outstanding. The biggest thing for us has been the consistency we’ve had on the training paddock; it’s been the best it’s been for a long time and we can draw a bit of confidence from that.”
The Blue and Gold will need a gritty, confident performance across the park to match their Round 19 opponents, with the Bulldogs boasting one of the most intimidating forward packs in the NRL.
“They’re definitely one of the best packs in the competition,” Mannah said.
“They’ve also got a lot of skill as well [as size].”
“At the end of the day it’s just got to be a full team effort from us. It’s going to require all 17 of us come Friday night to put in a performance we can be proud of.”
The Eels kick off against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at 7.35pm on Friday night at ANZ Stadium as part of NRL Heritage Round. Click through for all the game day info!