TOWNSVILLE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 18: Eels coach Brad Arthur speaks at the post match media conference at the end of the round 10 NRL match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Parramatta Eels at 1300SMILES Stadium on May 18, 2019 in Townsville, Australia. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

The Parramatta Eels board have come out swinging, throwing their support behind head coach Brad Arthur despite yet another loss on Friday.

The 40-12 beatdown at the hands of the South Sydney Rabbitohs could eventually prove fatal to the club's top-four hopes, with it serving as their third straight loss.

While the previous two losses against the Canberra Raiders and Sydney Roosters came without star half Mitchell Moses after he copped a back fracture in State of Origin Game 3, Moses returned on Friday.

It's the Eels's defence which is a true cause for concern, letting in 28 points to the Roosters and another 40 to the Rabbitohs this weekend.

With an incredibly tough run home, playing all of the Manly Sea Eagles, Melbourne Storm and Penrith Panthers in the last three weeks, their current form suggests they will struggle to make the top four.

That would follow two seasons in a row where the Eels have been bounced out of the finals at the second week, despite enormous talent and constantly being in the premiership discussion.

It has led to mass speculation on the future of Arthur, but The Sydney Morning Herald reports the experienced coach is safe for next year at least, with his contract yet to be extended beyond that.

Eels chief executive Jim Sarantinos told the publication the coach had done a great job.

“Brad is contracted for next year,” Sarantinos said.

“He’s done a really good job the last few years taking the club forward.

“At the end of the day we’ve had a rough few weeks – we’ve had three tough weeks where we’ve been below our best and the guys need to regain some confidence.

“I’m confident Brad and the leaders can [help us regain that confidence].

“What we’ve seen the last few weeks is not reflective of our footy team. We’re in the position we’re in [fourth on the ladder] because we’re a good football team.

“It’s important everyone focuses on what is immediately ahead of us because we still have an opportunity to get back to playing our best football before we get to the finals.”

The Eels are currently locked on points with the Sydney Roosters, and just two ahead of the Manly Sea Eagles, managing to hang onto the spot after the Roosters lost to the Panthers, and the Sea Eagles to the Storm on Saturday evening.

There is, however, a line of thought which suggests fourth place could be a poisoned chalice, with Week 1 clash against the Melbourne Storm proving difficult to back up from in following weeks during previous seasons, despite the second chance.

Arthur took over as head coach of the Eels in 2014, having originally spent six games in charge as interim coach during 2012.

He has led the club to three finals series in the last four years, however, never made it past Week 2, losing semi-finals to the Cowboys in 2017, the Storm in 2019 and the Rabbitohs last year.