'Time to forget 2005': Skandalis

Wests Tigers prop John Skandalis has warned his team-mates not to become carried away with memories of their stunning 2005 premiership run or risk blowing their chances of another finals appearance later this year.<br><br>The Tigers head into Monday night’s clash with premiers Manly having won three games in a row for the first time this season to rocket back into finals calculations.<br><br>Their run has evoked memories of 2005 when the club sat in 11th on the NRL ladder at the halfway mark before winning 13 of their final 16 games to claim the title.<br><br>But Skandalis says the Tigers can’t afford to dream of past glories if they hope to continue their latest charge.<br><br>“I don’t like comparing the two years – they’re two totally different teams,” Skandalis – one of seven remaining Tigers from that 2005 grand final – told NRL.com.<br><br>“I know it looks like we might be surging to the semis but if we start thinking like that we’re going to be in a lot of trouble.<br><br>“Yes we’re winning games towards the back end but in 2005 we were in a slightly better position than we are at the moment.<br><br>“I hope it does go the same way, that would be very nice, but it’s a different year and a different competition so we need to treat it like its own year.”<br><br>Despite his concerns, Skandalis said confidence was quickly building at the Tigers following wins over South Sydney, North Queensland and Canberra in their past three outings.<br><br>“There is definitely a good feeling around the club at the moment – it’s always good to win,” he said.<br><br>“We don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves but I think we know now where we were going wrong and we’ve fixed that.<br><br>“We’ve finally realised we can’t afford to be dropping the ball and giving sides a head start so we’ve been playing a bit tighter, we’re up the middle more and we’re slowing getting rid of that tag as a side-to-side team.<br><br>“It’s all about being patient.”<br><br>Whether another finals appearance would present an NRL swansong for Skandalis is yet to be decided.<br><br>The 33-year-old returned to the Tigers to take up a youth development role with the club but an injury crisis in the forwards saw him recalled to the first grade squad mid-season, where he has remained ever since.<br><br>Skandalis said he would make a decision on his playing future at the end of the year but admitted he was toying with one more season in the NRL.<br><br>“I’m taking every game as it comes at the moment and I’m going to weigh up at the end of the year how I feel and if the club is interested in keeping me,” he said.<br><br>“If you asked me right now I would say that yes, I’m feeling alright and the body is fresh and the mind is fresh.<br><br>“I guess it depends on what the club says and whether they are interested in keeping me.<br><br>“But I am loving every game I’m playing with the Tigers at the moment.<br><br>“I’m still treating each game like it’s my last but it’s great to be back helping out the Tigers and winning games.<br><br>“Hopefully it doesn’t end too soon.”<br><br>Tigers’ recruitment manager Warren McDonnell said the club was keen for Skandalis to put more time into his development position but wouldn’t rule out a new contract.<br><br>“I know what John is like and no doubt he will want to go around again if he is feeling okay because he loves his footy so much,” McDonnell said.<br><br>“At the end of the day he came back to the club to take up that youth development position with us and we think it’s important that he goes back to that as soon as possible.<br><br>“But John has been such a good clubman we certainly wouldn’t rule out having him play on for another season.”<br>