Daly Cherry-Evans says it's no fluke Newcastle's point-scoring spree last Saturday coincided with Blake Green's arrival at the club.
After leaving the Warriors with his services not required for 2021, Green was instrumental in a 44-4 win against the Wests Tigers.
Having steered Manly to the finals in 2017 with Green as his halves partner, Cherry-Evans is wary of the 33-year-old's influence leading into Sunday's clash at McDonald Jones Stadium.
"He's extremely experienced, really intelligent and he obviously enjoys picking teams apart with his attack," Cherry-Evans said.
"That obviously can help free up players around him. That's probably the best way I can explain the impact Greeny has on a side."
Warriors interim coach Todd Payten last week voiced his disappointment about the manner of Green's "surprise" exit, saying "he made it pretty clear he didn't want to be here".
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But Cherry-Evans bears no resentment towards Green for leaving Manly three years ago to join the Warriors after one season.
"That is a massive part of our game, player movement, so certainly no nasty feelings on my end," he said.
"I always enjoy playing against my old teammates and Greeny is still someone we message every now and then.
"I'm looking forward to the challenge this weekend. He was certainly a massive addition for [the Knights]."
Cherry-Evans said shutting down Green will be part of Manly's focus for the clash at McDonald Jones Stadium.
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The benefit of Green's composure last round was clear for star fullback Kalyn Ponga and halfback Mitchell Pearce.
But for all the dangers in Newcastle's attack, Cherry-Evans wants his team to show more belief in themselves as they look to snap a two-game losing streak and get back in the top eight.
A win would do wonders for Jake Trbojevic's mood. The wholehearted lock admitted he's found it difficult to overcome the frustration of the injury-hit team's form slump.
"It's something I need to work on [and] find a way to get over it. You've got to focus on next week, you've got to put all your energy into improving for the following week," he said.
Trbojevic has a simple solution to his problem: "The best way is to just win, so you don't have to worry about it."
"I think as you get older and mature you get more and more used to it, so hopefully that happens," he added.
With strict biosecurity measures in place preventing players from their usual recreational activities, Cherry-Evans said he could see why some are overthinking their football.
"I always try to encourage people and in particular teammates to always make sure they're talking to someone," he said.