Barrett eager for Eels to make crucial coaching call

George Clarke |

Parramatta have struggled to get wins over the line this season.
Parramatta have struggled to get wins over the line this season.

Trent Barrett is hopeful his record as Parramatta’s interim head coach won’t limit his chances of landing the top job, as Eels bosses move closer to confirming Brad Arthur’s long-term replacement.

Struggling Parramatta are not expected to make a call on their next head coach until after Thursday’s home game with South Sydney.

Barrett has publicly pitched for the role but faces stiff competition from up-and-coming assistant coaches Dean Young, Josh Hannay and Jason Ryles.

And while he remains bullish over his chances, Barrett has overseen a 1-4 record with the Eels dropping to the foot of the ladder since he replaced Arthur.

Asked if a quick decision from Eels powerbrokers would help the club prepare for 2025, Barrett said: “I think (it would) for everyone, the club and the players.

“But it hasn’t really affected the players too much. 

“They are professionals and it’s not something you go through regularly, but they do have to go through it. 

“Their job is to play and to play well. 

“We haven’t quite got the results we wanted over the last few weeks, but they are playing a good style of footy at the moment, we just can’t get over the line.

“We’ve been quite unlucky the last three weeks, a really good win over Cronulla and we could have won the past three games.” 

Trent Barrett.
Interim Eels coach Trent Barrett is keen for a decision over his future. (Dan Himbrechts/AAP PHOTOS)

Barrett will be without Maika Sivo for the next six weeks after the winger suffered a hamstring injury in last week’s loss to Newcastle. 

Sivo’s absence will give Jake Tago his maiden NRL start on the wing, with Charlie Guymer expected to debut from the bench against a Rabbitohs side hunting a late charge into the top eight.

While Parramatta have struggled for form since Arthur’s exit, Souths have won their last four and remain within touching distance of a place in the finals.

“We’re playing better and we have some stability in our team,” interim Souths coach Ben Hornby said.

“It’s all sort of coming together, we’re still hoping (to make the finals) but we have got to concentrate on the week to week.”

Souths may have just two more weeks with back-rower Jai Arrow available, with Hornby confirming the club may send him for season-ending surgery after next week’s game against the Dolphins.