Friend shrugs off jeers from Roosters fans

Jake Friend admits the Roosters have been slow out of the blocks this season.Sydney Roosters co-captain Jake Friend admits being unhappy with some of his form this NRL season, but won’t be deterred by fierce criticism from his own fanbase.

Friend was booed by sections of Roosters fans in a recent home loss to South Sydney, which has been followed by some mixed form by the pre-season premiership favourites over the past three weeks.

With just five wins over the opening nine rounds, Friend conceded they’ve been slow off the blocks.

“Obviously it hasn’t been as fast as we’d like, there’s been a few changes in how we’ve tried to go about it,” Friend told reporters on Monday.

“As a whole, we’re pretty content on what we’re doing now and how we want to go about it. Hopefully in the next few weeks, that game comes and it all clicks and we forward from there.”

Friend has been a popular target for frustrated Roosters fans, some of who have been calling for youngster Victor Radley to replace the veteran rake in the No.9 jumper.

However, it certainly won’t happen on Saturday’s road trip to New Zealand, with Radley unsuccessful in downgrading a careless high tackle charge at the judiciary and has been suspended for one match.

Prop Frank-Paul Nuuausala is likely to be promoted into the 17-man line-up in his place.

Friend said he might’ve reacted differently to the criticism earlier in his career.

“No one likes hearing bad things about themselves. I’m sure if I was younger, it would’ve been tougher. It is what it is. People can have their opinions,” he said.

“If they’re turning up and doing the best they possibly can at their job, then good on them and they can bag me. I’m not happy with a few of my games and I’m working hard on that. That’s all I can do.”