Nathan Cleary is staying off social media this week. Picture: AAP
Nathan Cleary is staying off social media this week. Picture: AAP

Why Cleary’s staying off social media

Nathan Cleary will stay off social media this week in a bid to block out the external noise ahead of the highly anticipated showdown between dad Ivan and his former club Wests Tigers on Friday night.

The Penrith halfback is aware of the chatter which will confront the Panthers given the way Ivan left the Tigers last year.

But Cleary said having gone through the highly publicised affair last season had equipped him with the mental strength ahead of Friday's clash.

"There will be external noise," Cleary said following his team's 32-2 thumping against Melbourne on Saturday night.

"There always is. At the moment I couldn't care about that. I want to block that out and turn around the disappointing performance (against Melbourne).

"It's up to us to turn it around. I'm used to (external noise) now. There has always been speculation. The whole of last year it was everywhere. I've got a lot better a blocking it out and focusing on my job. I haven't been up to scratch the first three rounds. I have to focus on myself and the team.

"I don't try look into (the outside speculation) too much. I'll stay off social media this week. Everyone has an opinion and that external noise. We are happy from the inside - not with the performance (against the Storm). We have to work hard to get our way out of it.

"You have to (stay off social media). Social media is where all the noise comes from. We have to focus on ourselves."

While Ivan was in no mood to be probed about the impending clash following his team's loss in Bathurst, Nathan said it was hard to rattle his dad.

"Dad doesn't have any social media," Cleary said.

"He is away from all that. He is a pretty cool character. It effected mum a bit more because she was reading into it all.

"It is what it is. It has ended up in these destinations. Both parties are happy how it's ended up. It's got nothing to do with me or dad this week. It's about the whole team turning it around."

 

The Panthers have won just one of their opening three matches. Picture: AAP
The Panthers have won just one of their opening three matches. Picture: AAP

 

Halves partner James Maloney was not buying into the hype. The veteran playmaker said "he couldn't care" about the Tigers motivation.

"I've got no idea what their motives are," Maloney said.

"We can't control what people want to write about. We have some things that are pretty obvious we need to fix up. That's where our focus is at."

The Panthers have won just one of their opening three games since Ivan Cleary returned as coach. They failed to score a try against the Storm despite dominating territory and field possession.

Their defence was brittle in the second half with Cleary labelling the final 34 minutes of the match as "inept".

This year Maloney and Nathan Cleary have adjusted their roles and the sides of the field on which they play.

Nathan Cleary said that was not the reason the side struggled in attack.

"We end up on both sides of the field in attack," he said.

"Defensively I'm sweet defending over there. It's combinations with the people inside and outside. They've changed up a fair bit

"Jimmy (Maloney) has gone more first receiver so I can run a bit more and roam around. He is really good in that role. We were playing the opposite way around last year."