South Sydney star support Wayne Bennett’s tough stance to drop veteran winger Josh Mansour

South Sydney players have supported coach Wayne Bennett‘s tough stance to drop experienced winger Josh Mansour, declaring the tough love will help them set high standards to win the premiership.

Bennett sent a clear message to his players following the club’s opening round loss to Melbourne, relegating 159-game veteran Mansour after just one game at the Rabbitohs.

The former Panthers flyer struggled on debut for Souths, making several crucial errors while he only ran for 59 metres and made three tackles.

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Rabbitohs centre Dane Gagai, who has previously played under Bennett at Brisbane and Newcastle, knows the super coach is only trying to set high standards for the title aspiring Bunnies.

“It is about being accountable for your actions,” Gagai said.

“It is one of those things in our game that you don’t want to happen, but at the same time we are all there to do a job.

“I guess it goes back to the saying that whoever we put there we trust that they are going to do the job.

“Fortunately for me that isn’t my decision to make.

“There were a lot of us that didn’t perform the way that we would have liked to, but the beauty of it is it is only round one and we’ve got a chance to bounce back from that.”

Gagai can’t wait to take on Manly at Brookvale on Saturday night after the team’s substandard loss to Melbourne.

He concedes the Sea Eagles won’t be easy to beat following their record-breaking round one defeat to the Sydney Roosters.

“I know Manly will be feeling the same and they will be looking to improve on their performance knowing that isn’t what they are about,” he said.

“I know for myself I can’t wait to get out and play some footy to bounce back from that.”

Dane Gagai is hoping to extend his stay at South Sydney beyond a fourth season at the club. Photo: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images.Source:Getty Images

Meanwhile, Gagai confirmed his contract talks with South Sydney have started, but are a “work in progress”.

“I definitely want to get something sorted,” Gagai said about extending his time at the Rabbitohs beyond 2021.

“But to be honest it hasn’t been too much a focus or concern for me.

“I just want to win games. I’ve come off the back of three wooden spoons (at Newcastle) and now I’m coming off the back of three prelims, so I’m getting sick of going to prelims and not going to the grand final.”

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