Captain Paul Gallen is so tired of hearing criticism of his NSW team and himself, he says he just doesn’t listen anymore.
Despite losing State of Origin I by just a point the Blues have been pummelled by critics in the aftermath of the loss.
Gallen is in the crosshairs in the lead up to game two, largely because of his age.
It’s a theme all too familiar for Gallen, who says he now tunes out.
“I just don’t pay attention to it any more. I don’t really care. It is disappointing but everyone is entitled to their opinion, that’s the way it is,” Gallen said.
“I’m used to it by now, there was a time when it would have affected me but now it doesn’t affect me one bit.
“I know exactly who I am and who my teammates are here and I don’t have to impress the people that are bagging me, I have to impress Laurie Daley and the selectors. That is what I have done, that is why I am here.
“It is never nice people not saying nice things about you, but that is the position I am in. That’s the way I play the game. It is part of being a high profile athlete. You just have to put up with that type of thing.
“There is not a lot I can do about it. I don’t care. I really, really don’t care.”
The Blues have also copped it from Queensland, who claim they have been left to spread the rugby league gospel in Melbourne, where they have based themselves ahead of Wednesday’s Origin II at the MCG, while NSW hide out in Coffs Harbour.
As the Blues look to adopt a siege mentality ahead their must-win clash, Gallen says he respects the Maroons but is only interested in his side’s preparation.
“I don’t care about them (Queensland). I respect them. I respect their ability but I don’t care about them, and I don’t want to talk about them,” Gallen said.
“I don’t care what they are doing in Melbourne. I’m only worried about what we are doing in Coffs Harbour.
“This is where we prepared last year and it obviously worked for us, and this is where Laurie wants us to prepare this year so that is what we are doing and rightly so.”
Robbie Farah has trained strongly in both of NSW’s field sessions so far, as his recovery from a shoulder injury suffered in Origin I continues.
Brett Morris has continued to train on the left wing, in place of the dumped Sydney Roosters flyer Daniel Tupou, with Will Hopoate sticking to the Blues right wing he played on in Origin I.