Wests Tigers coach Michael Maguire is confident Moses Mbye won’t be distracted by NRL contract talks after the former captain announced he’s open to leaving the club in 2022.
The 26-year-old utility has been named on the bench for the Easter Monday clash with Parramatta just days after putting himself on the market for next season.
One of the highest paid players at the club, Mbye said earlier this week that neither he nor the club would be thrilled with the minutes he’s playing from the bench after failing to nail down a spot in the starting team.
He sought permission from the Tigers to look elsewhere for a contract in 2022 but Maguire said the speculation won’t be an issue for Mbye this week.
“Moses just wanted to get that out there and it’s on to this week. We’ve got a really important game tomorrow,” he said on Sunday.
“That’s part of players’ careers. They’ve got to look to their future but one thing I do know is he’s focused on the now.
“I always say, let the footy do the talking.”
A huge crowd is expected at Stadium Australia for Monday’s clash between the two western Sydney rivals as the Tigers attempt to derail the Eels’ winning streak.
Eels halfback Mitch Moses has cleared concussion protocols to play after he copped a head knock in last week’s win over Cronulla, while Ryan Matterson will return after missing round three.
The inclusion of the second-rower further bolsters the Eels side which is unbeaten after the first three rounds of the year despite not hitting their peak just yet.
“We haven’t played our best footy and I don’t expect us to play our best footy yet,” said Eels coach Brad Arthur.
“I certainly would like to see us improve and there’s things we need to improve on week to week.
“It was a step in the right direction last week, we lost our chief playmaker (Moses) and it allowed a few other boys to stand up and take control.
“We played with a real level of patience and composure at the back end of the game.”
After heavy losses to Canberra and Sydney Roosters, the Tigers scored their first win of the season last week against Newcastle.