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Penrith coach Ivan Cleary said he has moved on from the drama surrounding his exit from the Wests Tigers in the lead-up to the Panthers' clash against his former club on Friday night.

Cleary addressed the media on Thursday in the lead-up to the game at Panthers Stadium and said he did not believe he owed the players an apology for leaving the club before the end of his contract.

"All the interactions I've had is positive. I'd like to change the way it happened but under the circumstances I was honest and open," he said.

"The fact it's been spoken about for six months, that's something I'd change. It was just one of those situations.

"Yes, I do [think I could walk into their changeroom]. I don't owe them an apology, I don't think. That's just part of the deal. I've spoken about it before."

Penrith are 1-2 after last Saturday's heavy loss to Melbourne.

"I wasn't happy, didn't play well, didn't coach well [against the Storm]," Cleary said.

"We need to play better, but it's not a semi-finals spot on the line either."

Ivan Cleary speaks ahead of Wests Tigers clash

"I've got no problem with anyone at the Tigers, and I don't think they do with me either. It's not about me. We weren't happy last week. Our fans deserve better and we deserve better. Most jobs have pressure, you've got to perform and this is no different.

"We're still a developing team, a young team. I'm happy with the roster we've got. I've never thought the media take it easy on rebuilding coaches either."

When asked about his son Nathan's form at halfback for Penrith, he replied: "He's been OK, his foundations are really good and he's working hard. His main part is defence, his kicking game is OK. Like the rest of the team he's not really firing."

Cleary also said his relationship with Panthers executive general manager Phil Gould was "sweet".

"Yeah, I'm sure it is, he's part of the club and had a big input into building this place," he said.

"I'm not sure what his day to day role is but what he does for the team, he's a resource for me whenever we need him. You'd be mad not to (lean on him).

"I think I've got a good relationship with those boys, that's just normal. Rugby league the game moves on really quickly.

"I love rugby league, everything about it. It's given me everything I have but I don't like the extra attention."

The Panthers are using the build-up to Friday’s home game against Wests Tigers to encourage all NRL fans to have a conversation about organ donation and to register as an organ donor at

The latest statistics indicate 70 per cent of Australians are willing to be an organ donor, yet only one in three have joined the Australian Organ Donor Register.

The promotion of this issue is particularly personal for Ivan Cleary, who donated a kidney to his brother Ash in 2017.

"My brother and I don't really want to go around talking about it," Ivan said.

"Put your hand up if you aren't registered. 

Panthers v Wests Tigers - Round 4

"I found it a real rush me for to do that and it uplifted me. It was a cool thing for me to do. It's been a good experience. I had to be careful how many beers I had early on but I'm all good now.

"It's obviously a big deal and he was sick at the time, all you want is someone you love to feel better. It's pretty emotional, a good experience but an exciting one."

DonateLife will have a marquee at Panthers Stadium on Friday where fans can learn more about organ donation and add their name to the Australian Organ Donor Register.

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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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