Latrell: ‘Exterior stuff’ not to blame for form
SUPERSTAR Sydney Roosters centre Latrell Mitchell has revealed that while he is suffering from external distractions off the field, his minor form slump can only be resolved by focusing on 'enjoying' his footy again.
Speaking to NITV's Over The Black Dot, Mitchell also revealed that he hasn't begun contract talks with his manager about a potential move away from the Bondi club.
Mitchell's current deal with the Roosters expires at the end of 2020, meaning he isn't eligible to negotiate with rivals until November this year.
Despite this, the NSW Origin rep has been linked with a club switch, with South Sydney believed to be interested in his services.
"It's all just hype I guess (the contract talk). I haven't even had a word to my manager about moving or talking to another club," Mitchell said.
"I'm here to focus on the Sydney Roosters and playing for my state. That's all I wanna do this year. When contracts come around they'll come around."
After demolishing the Tigers in round eight, Mitchell's form has been criticised over the past month, highlighted by a substandard showing in the Blues' series-opening Origin loss to Queensland.
"There's a bit of exterior stuff there but you know at the end of the day it comes down to me and being an individual player and doing what I need to do to make me perform," he said.
Mitchell was rested from club duties in round 13 by coach Trent Robinson, intensifying rumours the club were unhappy with their marquee man.
The Origin outing prompted NSW coach Brad Fittler to question Mitchell's attitude.
"He's a superstar; we all want him out there playing. He obviously needs to work on his motivation," Fittler said.
"There always seems to be something other than footy."
Robinson silenced the talk, stating that it's unrealistic to expect a young NRL star to maintain elite form on a week-to-week basis.
"So as a coach you are going to sit there and applaud everything that he has done for us and then he has a couple of down games and then all of a sudden you are unhappy with him," Robinson said.
"C'mon. You've got to support people in both times and that is what we'll do with Latrell.
"I'm not going to sit there and say how good the Roosters are when Latrell has one of his big games.
"And then when he hasn't played as well put it all back on him.
"No, no. The guy is one of ours and we will support him."
Mitchell returns for the Roosters this week at they attempt to snap a three-game losing streak in Sunday's clash with the struggling Bulldogs.