A seven-game losing streak will not be the end of Manly's season according to halfback Daly Cherry-Evans.
The Sea Eagles currently sit 13th on the NRL Telstra Premiership ladder and are four wins outside of the top eight but showed signs of turning their season around in their narrow loss to reigning premiers North Queensland last Monday.
If Manly want to play past the first week of September then history suggests they can only afford to lose one more game in the regular season before their chances depend solely on other results.
"We definitely believe our run home is favourable for us but the standard we set as a playing group needs to be like it was against the Cowboys," Cherry-Evans said.
"If we can uphold those standards then I daresay we'll win more than we lose through the back end of the season.
"If mathematical hope is all we have then that's all we'll need. We still are containing a lot of self-belief that we can go on a run and make a late charge towards the finals, no doubt."
Losing hasn't been in the Sea Eagles repertoire for over a decade but a loss to the Dragons on Monday night will see them equal a club record of consecutive losses.
"We're not exactly winning many games at the moment so we need to take whatever positives we can find. Coming within four points against the reigning premiers is a pretty good effort I believe," Cherry-Evans said of their 30-26 loss to North Queensland.
"Losing is foreign territory for a lot of people here including myself and the only way I know how to get out of tough situations is having your head down, bum up. Hopefully we don't have to wait too much longer for our next win."
Despite coach Trent Barrett having the second-worst winning percentage in Sea Eagles' history, Cherry-Evans couldn't discredit his rookie coach.
"The situations Baz has been put in as a rookie coach has been nothing short of unbelievable," Cherry-Evans said.
"I can't fault the man in his character, resiliency and the way he's been able to keep us together as a playing group. It's quite easy in situations like this for playing groups to split but more so than ever I'm quite comfortable with where the squad is."
Cherry-Evans remained hopeful of earning a Queensland Origin recall with Michael Morgan (knee) in doubt, but failed to shy away from his own injury woes.
"I'm definitely optimistic and ambitious about getting back into the Origin arena. I don't know what's going to happen in coming weeks but if the spot is available still I'll always be willing to put on a Queensland jersey again no doubt," he said.
"Unfortunately I'm carrying an [ankle] injury that isn't foreign to others players in the competition nor my teammates so I'll have to do the best with what I have for the rest of the season.
"If last [my performance against the Cowboys] is anything to go by though, it showed I can still compete at a high level and play a good standard of rugby league."