For an NRL player, receiving words of encouragement can act as motivation – with the former coach of Chris Sandow at Souths in John Lang, saying that his former star player can be as good as JT, if he works hard enough.
“But if Chris Sandow wants to be an elite player, his elite talent needs to be matched with elite dedication,” said Lang.
Lang believes that it is only a matter of time before Sandow experiences success in winning games at the Eels, and admits that Sandow was always going to find it difficult to take the mantle of being a side’s number 1 play-maker.
“It would be ludicrous for somebody to sit back and not be closely involved and say, ‘this is what you have to do with Sandow’,” Lang said.
“Chris Sandow has elite talent for the game, and if he wants to be an elite player, that elite talent needs to be matched with elite dedication.
“That’s the key. The coach can have input, but in the end it needs to come from the player.”To go to Parra as their big buy and No.1 playmaker, it’s a bit like going from assistant coach to head coach. There’s a big difference being ‘the man’.
“I have no doubt if Chrissy dedicates himself, he’ll come through it. On sheer talent he’s up there with the best of them.
“He’s got the same skills, speed and instinct as Johnathan Thurston. I think he’s a more talented player than Cooper Cronk, and Cooper Cronk is your classic example of how through sheer hard work and dedication you can get to the elite standard. If Chrissy did that he’d never look back.”Sandow admits it has taken longer than he thought to put his stamp on the Eels.
With the fear in the back of his mind, that an off-the-cuff type style would result in team-mates displeasure at him, for the most part, Sandow shied away from his lethal running game.
He hopes however, that he can fire with the return of halves partner, Ben Roberts.
“I wasn’t nervous. It was just weird when I first came here,” Sandow said.
“I had a good trot last year, and I was expecting big things from myself when I came here.
“It’s frustrating (when it takes time) to gel, and I can’t wait for that time to come.
“There were good signs against the Dragons and hopefully we can build on that.”