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Mahoney says resilient Eels need to be better

The Eels have won four of their last five games, but they haven't been pretty and hooker Reed Mahoney is realistic about improvements the team needs to make heading into the finals.

Joining Breakfast with Joel & Jimmy on SEN on Tuesday morning, Mahoney was asked if 2020 is the year for the Blue and Gold.

He concedes the team has been resilient, but needs to be better.

"Probably the last few weeks, as a team, we haven't been at our best, but we have won games and that's the most important thing," Mahoney said.

"I think last week we didn't play too well, but we just got the job done and I think the next seven weeks are really important for us to find our feet and play some really good footy leading into the finals," he said.

The Eels raced to the top of the NRL ladder at the beginning of the season, but have appeared more flat in recent weeks.

"The season catches up with you. It's been a big year physically and emotionally with everything going on," Mahoney said.

"The positive we've spoken about as a team is that these last five games, we haven't been at our best, but we've won four of them," he said.

NRL Clubs have been restricted to a tough COVID-19 'bubble' since the season resumed in May, meaning they're allowed to go from home, to training and back home, with only supermarket visits permitted.

Restrictions were relaxed in June to allow players to eat at cafes and restaurants with other people in the 'bubble', but that only lasted three weeks, as more cases of COVID-19 emerged around the country.

"To be honest it has been pretty difficult," Mahoney said.

"We're quite a social bunch and on our days off we like to do something as simple as getting a lunch or grabbing a coffee with each other.

"You can't even go to a mate's house. It's quite frustrating, having to just go to training and go home you sort of feel a bit stuck and isolated.

"It's a bit strange when you get excited about going to Woolworths, but it's just something you have to live with and get on with. We just have to tough it out," he said.

The Eels currently sit third on NRL ladder, with seven rounds left of the normal NRL season, before finals footy kicks off in October.

The Eels host the St George Illawarra Dragons in Round 14 this Friday night at Bankwest Stadium.