A long-awaited contract extension for Des Hasler is set to be confirmed as early as this week in a significant show of faith for one of Manly's favourite sons.
As reported by NRL.com earlier on Monday, more than 12 months of delicate negotiations have come to a head with Hasler's management understood to have informed Manly management of an agreement to terms beyond 2021.
No official comment has been made by the club or Hasler's camp with the fine print on a new deal still being sorted through.
The commitment from Hasler though is expected to see a formal announcement later this week after Saturday’s miserable 46-4 loss to the Roosters - the heaviest round one loss in Manly’s history and a ninth defeat from their last 10 games - put Hasler's tenure under the microscope.
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The veteran coach’s future beyond 2021 has been discussed for more than 12 months, with the protracted talks raising questions around whether a contract would actually get across the line.
Multiple incentive scenarios are understood to have been haggled over throughout Hasler’s contract negotiations, with the veteran coach understandably wary of any termination clauses.
By the same token the Sea Eagles have been burned previously by Trent Barrett's messy exit, which saw him paid out for the last year of his contract despite Hasler being installed as replacement.
A two-year term is expected to be announced by the club, shoring up Hasler's future amid growing scrutiny on Manly's on-field slide.
The Sea Eagles' 42-point thumping at the hands of the Roosters continued a defensive rot that stretches back to round 12 last year, with the Sea Eagles conceding an average 36.2 points a game since last August.
Lock Jake Trbojevic takes losses as hard as anyone in the NRL and said responsibility for the season-opening shocker lay with his teammates, not Hasler and his staff.
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"I don't think you can put the way we played on Des," Trbojevic said on Monday.
"He's not out there. He obviously prepares us really well, so thoroughly. He works so hard, I've never seen anything like it and his record speaks for itself.
"I love being coached by Des, he's a great leader and he really suits running this club. A performance like that definitely can't be put on him. I hope he's here for a long time."
The Sea Eagles' dramatic drop-off in defence has coincided with Tom Trbojevic's injury woes, the latest of which have seen Dylan Walker revert to fullback.
Walker was set to play centre until Trbojevic's latest hamstring injury, upheaval Manly's already fragile edge defence needed like a hole in the head.
The left side in particular, where Walker had trained in particular throughout pre-season, was all at sea against the Roosters, conceding the first seven of nine tries at the SCG.
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"It's hard to take, it's not to our standard," Walker said.
"If I had to put it down to anything it's attitude, we didn't rock up. We did for the first 10-15 minutes, we were in the game and then we let the game get away from us.
"We've got to lick our wounds and cop what we have to because we put up a shit performance.
"Only the players can fix it. Coaching staff can show all the video we want, but if you're not going to rock up on game day and show that bit of 'oomph' about it then it's not going to change."
Another daunting assignment looms on Saturday against premiership heavyweights South Sydney with Walker expecting to take up the No.1 jersey once more against his former side.
The 26-year-old is playing for a new contract of his own and said both Trbojevic and Manly icon Brett Stewart have helped coach him through a crash course of fullback play to get him through the first month of the season.
"I'll keep working at that," Walker said.
"There were parts of the game that I'll keep working on and I'm happy to do so. I'm no Tom Trbojevic.
"I'll keep working with video on where I can inject myself in the game and where I can help out as much as I can. I'm as filthy as anyone.
"There were two or three tries on the weekend where I could have saved [them]. That's something I'm going to have to work on."