Bronco admits ‘I don’t deserve Origin jersey’
NOT even an Immortal's praise can cheer up Brisbane NRL five-eighth Jack Bird.
In fact, the Broncos recruit reckons the claim of Andrew Johns that he should be picked as New South Wales pivot has only added to the pressure.
Former Cronulla star Bird has turned heads after being slotted into the Brisbane halves at the expense of Kodi Nikorima the past fortnight.
But Bird is beating himself up over his "under par" display in the 34-20 NRL loss to premiers Melbourne last Friday.
And not even a massive rap from Blues legend Johns can snap him out of it, it seems.
"Last week I had a pretty ordinary game. I was pretty down my performance," Bird said before Thursday's clash with South Sydney.
"I wasn't happy with my game. I think I let myself down and let the team down.
"I just need to find my mojo back and start enjoying footy again.
"Once I start doing that I will start playing better footy."
Johns believed Bird had already done enough to partner James Maloney in the Blues halves.
However, that hasn't helped Bird regain his confidence. If anything he reckoned it has made it worse.
"That (Johns compliment) is a bit of a boost but, in saying that, it puts a bit of pressure on my back and I start thinking I have to play good footy," he said.
"And when I start over-thinking things I am not as good as I know I can be.
"I have to play good footy to get that (NSW) position and no way, the way I am playing now, do I deserve that.
"Hopefully I can impress them in the next few weeks."
Bird said a constant battle with injury had affected his form with Brisbane to date.
He arrived at the Broncos in the off season requiring shoulder surgery and a five-month recovery. He has been recently troubled by a sternum complaint.
"Injuries have been a part of it (form). It (sternum) is playing up a little bit," he said.
"When you go into a game injured you tend to go missing.
"I am trying to get them 100 per cent and start playing good footy this week.
"I know I have to lift my game.
"I know I have to do better and I am trying to do that but also keep focus on the team stuff and keep moving forward."