Coaching dramas take a back seat for Cleary ahead of Manly meeting
Wests Tigers coach Ivan Cleary is no stranger to the coaching merry-go-round and he is the first to admit that coaches know what they're getting themselves in for when they accept jobs in the NRL.
In the last month Cleary was linked to making the switch to the Penrith Panthers but addressed the media in recent weeks to announce that he will be honouring his contract at the Wests Tigers.
Sea Eagles coach Trent Barrett is the most recent coach hitting the headlines as he is set to part ways with the Manly at the end of the season.
"I don't really know what's going on and personally I'm a friend of Trent," Cleary said.
"It's the coaching gig and pretty brutal - we all know what we put our hands up for so I'm sure he'll work his way through whatever it is."
On Thursday night the Wests Tigers host the Sea Eagles at Campbelltown Stadium in a do-or-die match for the home side as they bid to keep their finals hopes alive.
"If we don't win it's all over," Cleary said.
"After last week our main focus is putting on a much better performance which we feel like we should, and for all the fans that come out to watch us tomorrow night we feel obliged to do that for them."
The Wests Tigers' 20-10 loss to the St George Illawarra Dragons last Saturday night definitely didn't do them anyfavours in pushing them closer to the top eight, with Cleary blaming the result on crucial errors from his side.
"Most of our errors last week were in good positions - we were actually creating chances, creating space and creating opportunities but we maybe got too excited off the ball literally and figuratively," he said.
"Full credit to the Dragons because they played tough on the night and were too good for us."
Thursday night's opponents Manly may be battling off-field distractions but their attack has been clicking on the field, scoring 34 points in last week's loss to the Titans following wins over the Bulldogs and Sharks.
"Our defence has been the cornerstone of our season this year so for us to win tomorrow night it's going to be at the forefront of what we are trying to do," Cleary said.
"If we can defend well then generally speaking that the rest of our game comes off that.
"I expect a good performance [from Manly], they have some attacking weapons but I'm more focused more on what we can deliver - we understand their strengths and weaknesses and I've obviously got so plans around that but our biggest focus is to put a performance on that we can be proud of."