Bevan French has revealed after his recall to the Parramatta side for Sunday's match against Wests Tigers that a failed pain-killing injection in round six had contributed to his axing.
French, who copped heavy criticism for only having one run and making 15 metres in the Eels 18-2 round six loss to Canberra, had a cortisone injection before the game for his shoulder. But it was ineffective and left him a virtual passenger.
"We spoke about how my shoulder was going to be in pain going into the game and getting a needle before the game that was supposedly meant to numb it for six hours or something," French told NRL.com.
"But 15 minutes in I felt it. Because of that I didn't really get into the game and it was playing in the back of my mind.
"Injury did play a part in my poor performance but it was form as well.
"A lot of people have done it [pre-game injection]. At the end of the day it was my decision to play so I have to take responsibility for the way I performed."
Parramatta coach Brad Arthur dropped French for last weekend's win over Manly but he has been recalled following the loss of Jarryd Hayne with a hip injury.
Eels v Wests Tigers - Round 8
French says he is now determined to prove the critics wrong.
"[Brad] pulled me into his office at training and sort of explained why I was dropped and I couldn't blame him, it was the right thing to do.
"But I'm just hoping I can get through this game this weekend injury free and get my hands on the footy more and start to get back to playing some good footy.
"If you're not performing you have to face the consequences and that's what I did but hopefully I can turn that around this week.
"I'm really excited to get back out there this weekend. I'm feeling pretty driven. I copped a bit of criticism after that Raiders game and I'm really eager to get back out there and prove everyone wrong."
Despite the Eels 1-6 start to the season French is confident that they can still make the finals. He says the side is concentrating on the next month of football to get to a similar stage they were midway through 2017, where they kicked on to the top-four.
"We still are confident that we can turn this season around, we haven't written it off just yet," French said.
"We looked at a stat the other day, if the next four or five weeks if we go on winning we're sort of the same position we were last year and we ended up finishing fourth. So the next month and-a-half will be big for us, which will determine where our season is going to end up.
"We have a lot of people that have a lot of skill that can create something out of nothing."
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