The NRL calendar hasn’t even reached its halfway point, but Parramatta star Anthony Watmough admits time is running out for the team to save their season.
Friday night’s demoralising 14-12 loss to South Sydney means the Eels will be left in outright last spot by the end of the weekend and facing a hairy climb back into finals contention.
With 13 games to go, there’s still plenty of time for the struggling club to string some wins together.
A frustrated Watmough conceded the Eels are cutting it close on making a run.
“We’re not far off being too late (to save the season). It’s getting there,” he told AAP.
“It’s starting to get down to the wire.
“But that’s what builds character.
“As you’ve seen over the past few weeks, we’re not far off.
“I thought we’ve been the better team over the past few weeks, we just haven’t got there.”
One man Watmough believes can turn their season around is also playing for his career.
One week after being axed to NSW Cup, Chris Sandow received a late call-up to play fullback against the Rabbitohs and had a mixed outing.
He proved capable under the high ball, but came up with a crucial turnover late in the match that allowed the defending premiers to steal the win.
The normally reliable sharpshooter also missed all three of his attempts at goal.
However, Watmough said he saw enough in Sandow’s performance to prove that he can single-handedly flip the script on the team’s current trajectory.
“He was amazing at the back there,” he said.
“Obviously we’ve got massive issues with our salary cap and we can’t bring anyone else up.
“Chrissy getting thrown in there, he done a great job for us tonight.
“He was amazing under that high ball.
“They might look at a couple of things that didn’t go right for him, but we look at the few things that did go right for him.”
Parramatta’s fate could be decided over the next month, which includes games against Penrith, North Queensland and Melbourne.
Watmough said the team simply needed a breakthrough win to begin their run.
“We’ve been in every game all bar one and the boys know that,” he said.
“We just need to keep doing what we’re doing and get the bounce of the ball. We get that, then them calls go our way. We’re going to surprise a few teams.”