'It's a delicate situation': Barrett reacts to Sea Eagles speculation
The stand off between Manly coach Trent Barrett and the club is unlikely to be resolved before Friday night's match against Gold Coast at Lottoland, leaving doubts over how long the Sea Eagles mentor will remain at Brookvale.
Barrett addressed the media on Thursday morning and said he was unable to clarify his future at Manly amid speculation he could be on his way out of the club.
The Sea Eagles coach denied he had already resigned from the club but said he couldn't provide any more details due to legal reasons.
However, he gave a hint that his issue with Manly is about the workload imposed on him by the absence of a recruitment manager and the lack of resources that rival coaches have at their disposal.
"I've loved every minute of coaching when we are doing what we're paid to do - and that's to coach," Barrett said.
Barrett's scheduled media conference came a day after the Sea Eagles refused to respond to reports he had quit the club, and it is understood that he and the players are frustrated that the Manly management has avoided answering questions on the subject.
However, Barrett said that at this stage he was contracted to the club through to 2020 and wanted to stay.
"No," Barrett said when asked whether he had quit. "Just for legal reasons I can't answer those questions today. I'd certainly like to be able to, that time will come but it's not going to be today."
Barrett said he hoped Sea Eagles chief executive Lyall Gorman would be able to provide clarity to the situation on Thursday afternoon or Friday.
However, Gorman told NRL.com, it was unlikely the club would be in a position to make any statement ahead of the match against the Titans.
"Lyall's probably the one to answer these questions for you but out of respect to the club I don't want to sit here and say too much today, and I have been told by the club that with the legalities around it all that I won't be commenting about it today, no.
"When the dust settles and we sort things out at our end and the club's end I'll be able to talk and so will the club.
"I've got a game to prepare for tomorrow as well and the guys are in there and they're ready to train. I understand the frustrations and the fans certainly wouldn't be the only ones frustrated."
Barrett said the decision on his future would be his, and that he wanted to continue as an NRL coach.
The Penrith Panthers, who parted ways with coach Anthony Griffin, have ruled out chasing Barrett as his long-term replacement.
"I think it's a difficult job. It's a difficult job at any club I suppose. We all know what we're getting into when we become first grade coaches," Barrett said.
"The players in there, I'm really lucky to have a really good squad. Our last month of footy or our last six weeks of footy has been really good, and this is a job I want to do for a really long time.
"It's a delicate situation I suppose. I do want to be a head coach for a long time, and that's something I'll consider or worry about when we clear a few things up here. The biggest thing for me is we win football games and that's my main focus."