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James Tedesco justified his massive price tag with a stunning performance against Parramatta. Picture: Gregg Porteous


JAMES Tedesco deleted Twitter off his phone last week, but still made it hard to forget him after an irresistible performance in the Wests Tigers’ 26-22 loss to Parramatta.

Tedesco admitted on Monday he had been feeling the heat over his protracted contract negotiations, which has seen him attract interest from Canterbury and the Roosters.

The fullback’s contract situation has dominated the headlines along with that of Mitchell Moses and captain Aaron Woods this season, but he says he won’t be rushed into a call.

After a quiet month since the Tigers’ opening-round win over South Sydney, he admitted the speculation had impacted on his football — before he went cold turkey on social media.

“I think it was getting in my head too much,” he said.

“You read too much, it gets a bit draining for yourself mentally.

“When we read too much it plays on our mind too much and distracts us from playing footy.”

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The latest contract drama isn’t the first time Tedesco has been the centre of transfer attention, having previously signed with Canberra in 2014 before backflipping to stay at the Tigers.

He said he expected to make a call in the next few weeks this time around, but won’t be hurried.

“I don’t want to rush into a decision and make the wrong one,” he said.

“I’ve had contract dramas before so I want to make it right before I rush into anything just to get it over with.

“Hopefully (I’ll decide) in the coming weeks. I can’t put a deadline on it.”

It didn’t hurt his football on Monday though — with the 24-year-old turning in his best performance of the season.

He set up two tries out of dummy-half and busted through 10 tackles — including one linebreak which should have won his team the match.

The play broke down later in the set when the Eels intercepted a Mitchell Moses pass to run downfield and score, but Tedesco’s 240 metres was another reminder of why he is the Tigers’ chief priority.

“When I’m involved in the ball and work off quick play-the-balls that’s when we play our best footy,” he said.

“We’re too structured in attack so I’ve just got to roam around and do my best.

Tedesco is likely to be centre of attention in the lead up to the Tigers’ clash with Canterbury next Sunday — a club he admitted earlier this month he was “tempted” to join because of their superior off-field stability.

But he said on Monday he believed the Tigers had improved in that area already after the arrival of new coach Ivan Cleary.

“Ivan has come in and just given us a game plan,” he said.

“You can see the improvement we’ve had in the past few weeks and that’s positive for me, positive for the team that we’re going in a positive direction.

“It’s good to have that. We haven’t had that before.”

SOURCE: newsnow sport