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Manly players back under-pressure Barrett

NZN 13/03/2017 Scott Bailey

Talk of Trent Barrett being under pressure after two consecutive Manly losses to start the season is "comical", according to captain Daly Cherry-Evans.

The Sea Eagles have lost their first two home games against Parramatta and South Sydney, and are 15th on the ladder with only a slightly better for-and-against than Canberra.

Barrett is contracted to the end of 2018, having signed a three-year deal when he began at the club last year, but Manly's disappointing start has already fuelled suggestions the mentor could be under fire.

However, Cherry-Evans thought the talk was ridiculous.

"I find it pretty comical," Cherry-Evans said on Monday.

"I know it's someone's job on the line but it's outrageous to think that it's even a possibility after two rounds.

"He's got my support."

Manly have lost their past seven games, in a streak that dates back to August 2016, and have also dropped 11 of their past 14 at their home of Lottoland.

If they lose to North Queensland on Saturday night in Townsville they will equal the club record of eight successive defeats.

They'll go into the match without four of their regular forwards in Darcy Lussick, Martin Taupau, Addin Fonua-Blake and Lloyd Perrett.

The Sea Eagles are also hamstrung by the medical retirements of Brett Stewart and Steve Matai still remaining before the NRL, meaning they cannot replace them in this year's salary cap.

But Cherry-Evans has an idea of how to silence those critical of not just his side, but their coach Barrett.

"It's not going to go away because I ask it to," Cherry-Evans said.

"If we win a game it might help him, I'm sure."

Instead, he said the "snowball" of pressure placed on coaches league-wide was unfair, and that his assessment was not just limited to Barrett.

"If players aren't delivering for a coach, I feel it a bit unfair for a coach to be on the hot seat," Cherry-Evans said.

"It is rugby league, it doesn't make it right or wrong, but that's exactly what has happened right now."

Manly have used just three coaches in the past 14 seasons, with Des Hasler signing with the Bulldogs after an eight-year tenure at the end of 2011.

Geoff Toovey then spent four seasons at the club before he was replaced mid-contract, but Manly players insist talk of Barrett's future hasn't even been mentioned in the dressing room.

"Plenty of sides have turned it around and have gone on to have a successful season," forward Brenton Lawrence said.

"Some of the things that have been said have probably come from people who have no idea of what they are talking about."

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