Johns has nothing to prove: Gould - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Johns has nothing to prove: Gould

By Brent Read 05/06/2003 07:46:23 PM Comments (0)

NSW captain Andrew Johns admits his failure to dominate at State of Origin level still burns at him - but NSW coach Phil Gould says the world's best player has nothing to prove.

Johns, a veteran of 18 matches for NSW, has been the best player in the world for the past three years, but acknowledges he is yet to leave his imprint on an Origin series.

The 29-year-old has won only two man of the match awards since making his Origin debut in 1995, including one in the opening game of last season.

But just as Johns threatened to dominate last year's series, he was forced to take a back seat as Queensland won game two and retained the Origin shield with a draw in game three.

His plight was made worse because he went public with his desire to dominate Origin prior to the series.

Understandably, he has been gun-shy about making any bold predictions in the lead-up to this year's series and Gould believes his playmaker will keep his ambitions to himself.

"Any player that comes out with that sort of statement puts a lot of pressure on himself," Gould said.

"I think Joey put unfair pressure on himself to do that.

"I don't think you'll be hearing him saying that sort of thing this year."

But the signs are there that Johns is building towards a big Origin series.

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