Australian halfback Daly Cherry-Evans, the only survivor from Des Hasler's last stint in charge of Manly, would welcome the return of the two-time premiership-winning coach to the club.
Cherry-Evans, who has finally fulfilled the predictions after his NRL debut season under Hasler in 2011 by becoming the first-choice Kangaroos and Queensland halfback, said he was prepared to work with any coach the Sea Eagles appoint but backed Hasler to turn the club around.
"Whoever the club decides to pick I'll make sure I dive right into it and enjoy whoever it is," Cherry-Evans said. "If that is Des, we have a bit of history there. That would be exciting to link up with the person that gave me my first grade opportunity.
"Tim Sheens gave me an Aussie jersey, Mal Meninga Queensland and Dessie club. Those three coaches are people I never forgot. If I was to link up with my first ever first grade coach I'd be all for it. [But] that's not my decision, that's for the owners to worry about."
Despite Hasler walking out on the Sea Eagles after the 2011 grand final, Cherry-Evans said he still understands the club's culture better that most and would be an ideal fit for Manly.
"Everyone hates Manly, our backs are against the wall and we love playing that style of footy and living by that mentality. Des was a big part of that," Cherry-Evans said. "I'm sure if he gets the opportunity to come back he will pick up right where he left off.
"With such a rich history with his career at Manly, there is no denying he has the best interests of Manly at heart. It will be interesting to see it all unfold."
Cherry-Evans is the only remaining player at Manly from the 2011 grand final win over the Warriors, which was followed by Hasler's departure for the Bulldogs.
Since he last played under Hasler, Cherry-Evans has played 13 Tests for Australia but until last Saturday night's 26-24 defeat by New Zealand he had not felt he was a chance of securing the No.7 jersey.
However, the retirement of Johnathan Thurston and Cooper Cronk's decision to stand down from representative football has given Cherry-Evans an opportunity and he is also considered the first-choice Queensland halfback after guiding the Maroons to victory in Origin III.
"Any time I've had the opportunity at rep level was filling a spot," Cherry-Evans said. "I felt very comfortable and very confident in what I was trying to do and achieve [against the Kiwis]. I feel like another week of training we'll be better for the run."
With an all-new spine, the Australian attack was "clunky" as fullback James Tedesco had played with five-eighth Luke Keary for the Sydney Roosters and hooker Damien Cook in the NSW team but there were no other combinations among the four key Kangaroos players.
The loss of Keary after he was concussed in the 13th minute also had an impact and Ben Hunt had to fill the five-eighth role, meaning Josh Maguire was used at dummy half when Cook was spelled midway through the second half.
"Losing a half in any side is going to have a little bit of an impact," Cherry-Evans said. "We were lucky to have Ben Hunt on the bench. He did a great job. We trained with Luke there all week so that situation wasn't ideal. But it didn't cost us the game.
"Our spine is very new. It was my first time playing alongside all three of those guys. The combination with Luke will have to wait another day. We will work on things during the week at training."
Match: New Zealand v Australia
Round 1 -
Venue: Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland