Manly need to cut out individual errors: Parker
Manly players say it is time to stop the rot.
Four weeks ago in their round 12 Telstra Premiership clash with Canberra at GIO Stadium, the Sea Eagles lost by just one point, 21-20.
Since then there's been a dramatic slide in form. Another three defeats where Manly has conceded a whopping 92 points – 26 against the Cowboys, 34 against the Warriors and 32 against the Dragons.
"If there's one area in our game that we need to make a difference, it is to sharpen our focus on winning," said utility back Brad Parker.
"We've got to focus on finishing our sets, focus on getting to our kick, and just cutting out the silly errors.
"Those areas are costing us points. That's what we need to stop."
Limiting their crippling injury toll would also be greatly appreciated by coach Trent Barrett, but that's beyond anyone's control.
Right-side winger Akuila Uate (ankle) was the latest to end up sidelined, playing for Fiji over the representative weekend. Thankfully Martin Taupau (New Zealand), Addin Fonua-Blake (Tonga) and Jorge Taufua (Samoa) all got through their respective games.
But Uate joins a list of key players, including centre Dylan Walker (cheekbone), forwards Kelepi Tanginoa (knee) and Jack Gosiewski (arm), hooker Api Koroisau (foot), five-eighth Lachlan Croker (knee) and backrower Curtis Sironen (knee).
"I can't speak for the rest of the team," said Parker on whether Manly players were feeling like the injuries were forcing their season to slip away.
"But I just see it as unlucky. In rugby league people get injured. But I will say it is unfortunate that so many key positions for us have been hit hard.
"Missing Api is massive. Dylan is massive, and Lachie was massive. Akuila looks like being out for a bit now."
The earliest of the injured are still two weeks away while Croker and Sironen are gone for the season.
The 'hits' keep coming as Manly faces Penrith twice in the next four weeks – with the reigning Origin-winning halves in Nathan Cleary and James Maloney ready to run riot.
But Manly boasts six internationals – when you add Daly Cherry-Evans and Walker to the four who played last weekend - and now have two Origin series winners in Tom and Jake Trbojevic.
"And that's the thing we can't forget. We still have the players to win these games coming up," Parker said.
"We have a strong core here and we have to start relying on them to get us through for the rest of the season."
Left side centre Brian Kelly said his teammates had spoken about sticking together and playing tougher.
"Injuries are constantly popping up but I think we're handling it pretty well at the moment," he said.
"We've just got to get that first win and it will be the spark. Our game plans are working fine. It is those few individual errors and I've been guilty of that.
"I've got to stop the lapses and we all feel that way.
"Penrith is a big challenge, a good test. Trent (Barrett) has told us to stick close as we're the only ones who can get ourselves out of this.
"We just need to back each other up and have faith in each other."
Manly were in the top-eight for the first five weeks of the year, but for the past 10 have slipped no lower than 14th - but no higher than 12th.
With nine games left – and a bye – they need four wins to threaten the eight. Five of the remaining rounds will be at Lottoland.
"I don't know what we've done in our previous lives. But we have to stay positive," Parker said.
"We haven't had the best of luck this season but we can't make that the reason to put the white flag up for the rest of the year."