With his club in an attacking slump at the moment, having not scored in 181 minutes of football – Panthers centre Michael Jennings is 100% ready to get out there, and turn the fortunes of the club, starting this week.
An ominous sign for the Panthers, is that no side has gone 3 consecutive weeks without scoring any points, and the Panthers will be looking to ensure that they are not the first team to fall into that category.
Jennings, who returns from a pectoral injury for tomorrow night’s clash with the Knights – says that he is ready to lead his the charge for his team, and come out all guns blazing.
“We’ve had two bad losses and have been stuck to nil,” Jennings said.
“I really want to get out there and help spark the attack. I think I can add something and it is really important to and get those two points.
“One win can turn around your season – it can put you back in the top eight. A win can restore our confidence and we can build from there.”
Jennings, who was in some good form before suffering an injury – is hoping to knuckle down and play good, consistent footy for both Penrith and NSW.
“It wasn’t bad, just a strain, but I had to take it easy just in case I ruptured it,” Jennings said.
The Penrith centre was a shoe-in for Origin, given his form – with Jennings saying that it came as a result of hard work off the football field.
“My form is a result of all the little extras,” Jennings said.
“I have matured more and worked on a lot of things. I know more about the game than what I have in the past. I just feel really good. Each player has their own barriers they need to break. For me, it was doing all the hard work away from the field when people aren’t looking. That is the most important thing for a person to succeed; you have to do the hard work when people aren’t watching.
“At home, no one is watching you, and that is where everything counts. You have to get your food right, do the extras, the stretching.
“It has given me confidence and now I want to lead the way.”
It was last year when he was involved in some indiscretions, that Panthers General Manager Phil Gould had him sell match tickets to fans – a punishment that Jennings says was embarrassing for him, and a wake-up call.
“I see that as a point of my life where I had to go forward. I know myself that I am disciplined, but it was a hiccup and a mistake I won’t make again. You can make a mistake, but you can’t make them twice,” he said. “It is how you approach the matter and I think I have responded well. I knew I stuffed up.”
With such incidents behind him, and having returned from injury – Jennings is keen to become the best football player that he can be for both his club, and his state.
“I still have a lot of work to do,” Jennings said.
“Ivan sees a lot more improvement in my game. I like the fact that I can improve and I need to work on things. I want to get those things Ivan wants right and I am looking forward to seeing where that takes me as a player.”