Parramatta caretaker coach Brad Arthur has urged his players to follow in retiring skipper Nathan Hindmarsh's footsteps and play tough for the final four rounds of the NRL season.
The Eels have endured a regrettable season, culminating in the sacking of coach Stephen Kearney last month, but have experienced a mini-revival under Arthur which has inspired hope that they could avoid the wooden spoon.
Arthur says while shaking last place is one motivation, a far stronger drive for the club is to live up to the lofty standards held by Hindmarsh and fellow retiree Luke Burt for the final month of the season.
"One word that typifies Hindy is tough, and we want to make sure we're tough for the remainder of the four games, and also we've got a bit of self-pride to play for," Arthur said ahead of Saturday night's showdown with Sydney Roosters.
"It's important for our fans and history and tradition of the club not to get the wooden spoon, but we just need to focus on two blokes.
"And that's Hindy and Burty, and doing what we need to do for the next four games.
"And if we're lucky enough to avoid the wooden spoon then that's good.
"But the priority is those two blokes and the fans and ourselves, as well, having a bit of self-pride."
Arthur admitted he was disappointed with his side's commitment to defence after they squandered a 22-6 lead in Monday night's 51-26 loss to Wests Tigers.
And he said that would need to be rectified heading into Parramatta Stadium clash against a Roosters side who are also not afraid to chance their arm in attack.
"We gave ourselves every opportunity to win but poor attitude in defence (hurt us) and that was probably right from the start," Arthur said.
"Our first set of six they rolled 60 metres before they had to put a kick in.
"(The Roosters) like to move the footy around, a lot of passing and offloads, so we'll have to make sure we're prepared to work hard for each other with defence."
Renowned defensive machine Hindmarsh also expressed his despair at his side's tackle-shy performance against the Tigers, in which they missed 55 tackles including 32 in the second half blowout alone.
"It's just commitment, that's all it is," he said.
"We weren't willing to get in there and have a go.
"We were defending poorly from the start, and there's no way we're putting the white flag up at the start, but the defence from the first set carried the whole thing and continued the whole game."
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