Parramatta CEO and human headline Denis Fitzgerald is a nervous man heading into Friday nightâ€™s showdown against Manly, fearing the Sea Eagles could hammer his team on current form. Interestingly, it seems for the first time in a decade Denis Fitzgerald could actually be right with one of his outlandish statements.
After being railroaded to the tune of 32-20 by South Sydney in their Round 18 clash, the Eels are now set to take on the NRL 2008 benchmark at their home fortress Brookvale Oval.
Parramatta look set to lose prominent five-eighth Feleti Mateo, who copped a knee injury against the Rabbitohs. And judging by the Eels poor use of reserves – this could really be a disaster for the struggling Western Sydney based club. The Eels had used 80% of their substitutions with 20 minutes still remaining in their match against the Bunnies. The lack of fresh legs really costing them in the back end.
â€œOn current form we could be beaten by 40 against Manly,â€ Fitzgerald said to reporters.
â€œThings are getting very tough for us. We have to stand up against Manly this Friday night.
â€œBut things donâ€™t look good. And it could be tough missing Feleti Mateo.â€
Fitzgerald stood by his club coach Michael Hagan, and said a Top 8 position was still well and truly possible.
â€œMichael can deal with this,â€ Fitzgerald said.
â€œHeâ€™s been through the good times and the bad times before with the Knights. It was a bit the same last year with us.
â€œWe started last year in a bad way but came home to make the finals. Weâ€™re certainly not resigned to missing the Top 8.
â€œWe are aiming for a top-8 spot and that starts with the game against Manly.â€