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Parramatta back-rower Nathan Hindmarsh has admitted to frustration at the Eels’ inability to attract new players in recent months but says the struggling club should still be good enough to reach the finals this season.<br><br>Despite languishing in 14th place on the NRL ladder following last Saturday night’s loss to cellar dwellars Cronulla and the absence of injured playmakers Feleti Mateo and Kris Keating, Hindmarsh said there were no excuses for the side having won just three games all season.<br><br>“It probably hasn’t helped the cause having those guys out but in saying that we should have beaten Souths without them and we should have beaten Cronulla as well,” he said. <br><br>“It would have helped having them in but that’s no excuse – we still should have won.”<br><br>“It’s hard to put a finger on what’s going on but we’re not winning games we should be winning. It’s disappointing.”<br><br>Asked about rumours that the club had no room under the salary cap to lure new players to the club next season – and having already missed out on Dragons duo Ben Creagh and Justin Poore – Hindmarsh said: “I think we can still do the job with the players that we have but you always like to see fresh faces around the place. <br><br>“It’s good to have other people coming in and out. But we can’t be worried about that and it’s not something we talk about.<br><br>“We’re just concentrating on winning games.”<br><br>The Eels look a tired and severely depleted squad this season, having lost seven of their 11 games including awful performances against the two sides below them on the NRL ladder in Cronulla and the Sydney Roosters.<br><br>While the sudden departure of halfback Brett Finch mid-season was seen by fans as a necessary evil as coach Daniel Anderson looks to make his mark, they have looked little more than a rabble at times – their inexperienced halves struggling behind a misfiring forward pack.<br><br>But while the form guide suggests they are in for a torrid time when they make the trek to Newcastle this weekend to face a Knights side that has won its last eight games at home, Hindmarsh said the Eels haven’t yet given up hope of a late top-eight push.<br><br>“You never say never,” he said. “You can’t shut up shop with half the season to go and our heads are still up.<br><br>“We’ve still got a fair bit of improvement in us but consistency is the main thing for us.<br><br>“If we’re still not playing well we can at least try and annoy some other teams.”<br><br>The Eels are sweating on the fitness of Hindmarsh this week after he left the field early in the second half against Cronulla with a biceps injury.<br><br>He will undergo another fitness test today but said he would train with the side this afternoon was remained confident of taking the field against Newcastle on Sunday.<br><br>“I just squashed the nerve in the biceps last week which stuffed around with the arm a bit,” he said. <br><br>“I had a cork from the week before against Souths and I wacked it again which didn’t do it any good. <br><br>“It’s a bit sore still but I’m going to the physio today to work out a bit of padding for it and we’ll see how it goes at training this afternoon.<br><br>“Last week I copped a hit right on the sweet spot which was what forced me off the field but as long as I don’t get hit right on that point again I’ll be right.”
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