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They’re coming off an embarrassing 30-point thrashing on home soil, sit eight points outside the top eight and saw their coach walk out on them midweek but hooker John Morris believes the Sharks can still pull off a miracle finals appearance in 2010.<br><br>Buoyed by the renewed enthusiasm that often comes with such a dramatic turn of events, Morris said that the sudden departure of Ricky Stuart this week had provided players with a much-needed wake-up call and promised that the club would finish the season on a high.<br><br>He also said he thought the players had let down their beleaguered former mentor.<br><br>“We still think we can make the finals and we certainly haven’t given up hope yet,” Morris told ahead of tomorrow night’s trip to Canberra.<br><br>“I know that we’re a fair way behind but if you do the maths we can till sneak in if we win every game and I don’t see why we can’t do it.<br><br>“The past two weeks have been terrible for us but that comes down to our attitude more than anything else.<br><br>“When I look around I still see a very good football side here, so why not?”<br><br>Stuart called it quits earlier this week in the wake of Cronulla’s 48-18 capitulation to Manly after three turbulent seasons with the club, handing the reins immediately over to assistant Shane Flanagan.<br><br>Morris said he wasn’t surprised by Stuart’s decision but felt it was up to the players to make amends over the remaining seven rounds of the season.<br><br>“I feel sorry for Ricky,” he said. “He did everything he could for this club and I feel that we let him down.<br><br>“But there has been a bit of excitement among the boys too – whenever a new coach comes in you do things a bit differently and that can give you a bit more energy and enthusiasm.<br><br>“Shane [Flanagan] said to us that there isn’t too much he can do in six or seven weeks but I still think we can turn our season around.<br><br>“I don’t see why we can’t finish the season strongly and at worst at least make life difficult for the teams we play.”<br><br>Morris said the trip to Canberra this week is exactly what the Sharks need.<br><br>“Having an away game outside of Sydney is perfect for us – it gives us a chance to really bond together,” he said. “It’s been a hectic week but we’re all pretty focused on beating the Raiders.<br><br>“It’s never an easy game down there but you often see sides that have been through some adversity come out the other side much stronger.”<br><br>Flanagan has spent much of this week talking to individual players about his own expectations over the coming weeks and outlining his plans for the future.<br><br>While Cronulla’s precarious financial position has made it difficult for the club to attract quality players, the new coach has already promised to sign four or five key players in an attempt to make the Sharks competitive again.<br><br>“I think the future looks positive,” Morris said. “If we can add a few more players I think we can be a real force next season and I already think we’ve got the makings of a strong squad.<br><br>“I mean, I look around and see blokes like Paul Gallen, Kade Snowden and Luke Douglas – I wouldn’t swap them for any players in the competition.”<br><b><br>Late NRL news:</b><br>•&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Penrith lock Luke Lewis has been ruled out of tomorrow night’s big clash with Melbourne at AAMI Park after failing a fitness test on his injured shoulder;<br>•&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;The Roosters face an anxious wait with key duo Mitchell Pearce and Nate Myles in doubt for Monday’s clash with Brisbane with hamstring and hip problems respectively.<br>•&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Newcastle has lost Adam MacDougall and Dan Tolar for their must-win clash with lowly North Queensland tomorrow night.<br>
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