It really hit my ego: Mannah reveals benching pain
VETERAN Parramatta prop Tim Mannah has revealed how the pain of being benched last year is inspiring him to extend his career for one more season.
Mannah has recaptured his barnstorming best in 2019 as the Eels surge up the ladder.
It was a different story last year when the Eels fan favourite failed to fire in a side that finished last.
The low point for Mannah came when he was dropped to the bench after spending the majority of his career as a starting prop.
"The ego took a bit of a hit," Mannah said.
"I look back and that's when my turnaround in form started.
"In fairness, going to the bench actually helped me to come on when everyone else was a bit tired.
"I liked that I could come on and make a difference where I could, and now I feel like I'm playing my best footy in years."
In his seven games this season, he has totalled 257.9 post-contact metres and averaged 116.6 running metres. He has also been dominant defensively with an impressive tackle efficiency of 90.9 per cent.
This has prompted Parramatta to open talks with Mannah about a contract extension for 2020.
"I definitely want to keep playing," he said.
"I'm only 31 this year. I'm playing for a contract as well, so I have to perform."
Mannah is one of 14 players at the Eels hoping to perform and secure their futures beyond this season.
Mannah wants players such as Clint Gutherson and Mitchell Moses to knock back advances from rival clubs to remain at the Eels long-term.
"Guys like Mitch and Gutho are big parts of our team, so it would be great to have them on board," he said.
"At the end of the day that isn't my call, but we are playing well as a team this season so hopefully that convinces them to stay."
Parramatta take on Melbourne on Saturday full of confidence after a 32-18 win over St George Illawarra.
Mannah says the feeling in the camp is vastly different to the struggles of 2018.
"Last year was a bit of a blip that I didn't see coming - it really took me by surprise," he said.
"We had some dark times and it was really frustrating.
"But we worked really hard over the summer and now we are in a position where we've started the year a lot stronger.
"It is really good signs and now we just need keep performing consistently."