Parramatta playmaker Chris Sandow says it’s up to him and his teammates to ease pressure on coach Brad Arthur following their embarrassing capitulation to North Queensland.
After trailing by 24 points with 20 minutes to go, the Cowboys completed the third biggest comeback in NRL history in a 36-30 win at Pirtek Stadium on Monday.
Winning just two of their last nine matches, only Manly sit below the Eels on the ladder, raising the heat on Arthur.
However, Sandow said Arthur should not shoulder the blame for the disappointing second-half performance and it was up to the players to turn it around.
“Brad’s a good coach and we’ve just got to go out there and do well on the field,” Sandow said.
“Brad and the coaching staff work really hard on our game plans.
“We’ve just got to go out there and complete our sets and we haven’t been doing that lately. But that’s no disrespect to Brad.”
Eels hooker Nathan Peats described the Cowboys loss as embarrassing and said the game was difficult to watch during team’s video review session on Wednesday.
The Eels will have a chance to pick themselves up on Monday against a depleted Melbourne, who will be without Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk, Billy Slater and Will Chambers because of Origin duty and injury.
While acknowledging they were having trouble closing games out, Peats said his side aren’t far off given the Eels have had three losses by six points or less in the last four weeks, including a golden point defeat to the Warriors.
“It’s embarrassing what happened on the weekend,” Peats said.
“The Cowboys are top two and we out-played them, out-enthused them for the first 55 minutes. And for that to happen is embarrassing and we’ve got to be mentally tougher.
“You look back in the last month – the Warriors in golden point and then Souths the last five minutes, and we beat Penrith, we could be in the top eight.”