Barrett relieved to notch first win
Trent Barrett admits he'll be able to "sleep better tonight" after recording his first win as an NRL head coach on Monday.
The 22-12 result extended Manly's incredible dominance over the Sharks at Brookvale Oval, and helped ease some of the pressure the rookie coach was feeling less than a month into his first season as an NRL head coach.
The return of Brett Stewart at fullback played its part, while the Trbojevic brothers were close to being the best two players on ground.
Barrett said the team was able to ignore the negative publicity surrounding them following their 0-2 start to the season, instead focussing on the little things they needed to get right.
"We didn't really talk about it to be honest, because we knew where we were going wrong," he said.
"You've just got to block that out. We don't read a lot of papers or get into anything like that because we were always confident of what we were doing.
"We can still get a hell of a lot better, don’t get me wrong. We're still probably 60 per cent of where I think we can get to. But just to get that first win, we get a lot of confidence out of it. But we've got to back it up next week."
Having played nearly 300 first grade games, Barrett knew how the players must have felt being winless to start the season.
"All I could do was turn up and work hard myself and prepare them," he said.
"I could see signs there that they weren't that far and that a win was around the corner, but you never know when it's going to be.
"There are certainly enough people around you to remind you when you're going bad. I found that out quite quickly.
"But again, one win doesn't make a season, and we're going to have to back it up next week against a Roosters side who are in a similar position."
The Roosters are winless three rounds into the season, and Barrett is fully aware that despite their poor record, they aren't a side to be taken lightly.
"They'd be hurting as much as we were heading into this game. They've got some really good players," the Manly coach said.
"I think the fullback – Latrell Mitchell – is a terrific player. Their two young halves, whilst they didn't have much luck on the weekend, are very good, and they've got a really good team. We've just got to worry about ourselves and recover and get everyone fit and healthy for Saturday."