Star South Sydney recruit Josh Mansour has revealed how he felt “personally burned” after being dumped by coach Wayne Bennett following his round-one debut for Souths.
After an underwhelming performance in the Rabbitohs’ round-one loss to the Storm, Bennett axed Mansour, choosing rising star Jaxson Paulo instead for the round-two win over Manly.
“I was actually more pissed off more than anything, because I feel like I didn’t get the opportunity to redeem myself the next week,” Mansour said. “It burned me, personally.”
Mansour admitted he had had a “patchy start” with the Rabbitohs as he continues to work on his connections with Latrell Mitchell and Campbell Graham in particular. He said Bennett had advised him to put his head down and train hard.
“That’s all he wanted and I was lucky enough to get back into the team,” Mansour said. “It was a bit of a patchy start against Melbourne. I wasn’t happy with my performance there.
“But my last couple of games I have been pretty happy myself … but I’m still nowhere near close to where I want to be with the team.”
Mansour said he hoped the Rabbitohs could work out their contract drama with skipper Adam Reynolds, adding he knew “first hand” how it felt to have an uncertain future at a long-term club.
Reynolds is currently fighting for a minimum two-year extension, with the Rabbitohs offering him only one year.
“It would definitely be hard for Adam when he’s been at the club for so long,” said Mansour, who left Penrith to join Souths after eight years at the foot of the mountains.
“He is a cult hero here. He grew up in Redfern and obviously that why there’s so much attention around it.
“He’s been at the club for so long, you hope to see it work out. I don’t know where they’re at with the salary cap … and there’s a lot of players off contract next year but, for some reason, I’ve got a gut feeling that it’s all gonna work out.”
South Sydney fans have started an online petition for Reynolds to remain at the club that has already attracted 5700 signatures.
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