With a magnitude of NRL figures and fans on his back for his somewhat inconsistent form this year, particularly stemming from the City v Country clash – Eels fullback Jarryd Hayne maintains that he is fit, and close to recapturing his 2009 Dally M form.
It got to the point where the Eels centre felt that he had to break the silence, given that the media and fans were constantly on his back for his inconsistent form.
“I am not sure where all of this is coming from with the injuries,” Hayne said.
“If anything, I was playing with injury last year and just trying to make it through. I feel that I am almost back to full fitness. I am four games back and each day there is something that I like about what I am doing and I am feeling good.
“My knee is fine and is almost 100 per cent. It is nowhere near as bad as it was last year. I was under a cloud last year, but I feel like I am at that point where I am going to take the next step and reach my peak.”
With a poor performance for City at five-eighth, there were calls for Hayne to come forward on his fitness – with his attitude also being questioned.
It is media and speculation with those things,” Hayne said. “I just have to roll with the punches. It obviously isn’t a good thing when people question my attitude, but there is nothing I can do.
“I would love for that stuff not to come out and it does get to you. I would love people to see the other side and what really goes on, but it is out of my control and sometimes you just have to bite the bullet.
“I just have to play football and worry about winning games. As soon as you start winning, those people go quiet. As soon as you lose and you are down, people start making things up and coming after you.
“It has been crazy this year, probably the worst it has ever been. There are so many debacles, so many rumours about the team.”
Hayne also admits that the team’s form has been sub-par this season, and said that if things do not improve, more players could find themselves at Wentworthville.
“I have enough pressure on me as it is,” Hayne said.
“The whole team is under the pump. It could be any of us. We all need to lift our game.”
With many believing that in the long-term, Hayne should be a five-eighth, for the man himself – he will play anywhere for NSW.
“When it comes to Origin, it is all about just getting a Blues jersey. From my part, I just need to get right. I need to play 80 minutes the best I can and get that rhythm and flow back.
“I think in patches I have been good but there are more things in my game that I can improve on.”