As the Eels look to get their season back on track this afternoon against the Gold Coast Titans, prop Tim Mannah had some words for his side, that they will all heed to, “Don’t settle for mediocrity”.

With the Eels having only won 2 games so far this season, they have the chance to bounce back, make a statement and get their season moving in the right direction, as they face a Titans side that have struggled themselves this season.

“As a playing group we’ve got a group that is really committed to the cause and we don’t want to settle for mediocrity,” Mannah said.

“So we’re going to make sure we get past these hiccups and get our confidence back and move forward. It’s important that we don’t let these last few weeks stop us from getting where we want to be at the end of the year.”

With Jarryd Hayne set to miss this clash, and next week’s game against the Dragons, Mannah says that it may actually be a blessing in disguise, as some players will step up in Hayne’s absense, and play good footy.

“As a group I think it’s going to be good for us to mature a bit,” he said.

“I think that we have been spoiled having Jarryd at the back … and we have looked to him a lot when things get tough and put a lot of pressure on him.

“It’s going to be good for us to understand now that he’s not going to be there on the field and … just try to force other people to put their hand up and want to be the person that steps up.”

With Mannah stepping up as the forwards leader for the Eels this season, he is more than excited to be going up against Titans prop Luke Bailey, who is playing in his 200th NRL match.

“He’s in the best form I’ve seen him in for a long time,” Mannah said.

“I’ve got a lot of respect for Bailey, he’s been around since I was a kid … I remember looking up to him for a long time. I still get a bit of a thrill and a buzz when I play against players like him who I looked up to as a kid.”

By ricky

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