Cronulla's unclear coaching situation is partially why long-time halfback Chad Townsend is waiting to decide if he will trigger a contract option to stay at the club.
The premiership-winning playmaker emphasised to NRL.com that his immediate focus is performing well.
But within a few months, the 30-year-old will have to make a call on whether he extends a successful second stint with his junior club.
Townsend, who made his Telstra Premiership debut for Cronulla in 2011 but played for the Warriors from 2014-15, has favourable clauses in his deal that allow him to remain at the Sutherland Shire team for the next two years.
The Sharks are yet to announce if they will stick with coach John Morris in 2022.
"I've got until round 13 to see what's going on," Townsend said.
Morris says Graham, Kennedy good to go
"A few things are ticking through my mind at the moment about how we're going [as a team], where I want to be, and obviously with the coaching decision moving forward, but that'll come.
"For me, at the moment I'm just worried about playing good football. That happens and everything else takes care of itself."
The Sharks have won one from three matches heading into Saturday's clash with the Cowboys, which has been moved to Kogarah from the Sunshine Coast due to Queensland's COVID-19 outbreak, but Townsend was optimistic after a gutsy display against the Eels.
The return of the set-piece scrum play
Having played 45 minutes with no one on the bench after losing Sione Katoa (knee) and Wade Graham, Will Kennedy and Briton Nikora (head knocks) in the first half, Cronulla took heart from the game despite the 28-4 scoreline.
"The team spirit and the camaraderie we got from that was excellent," said Townsend, one of nine Sharks to play 80 minutes last week.
"We watched the video the other day and our coaches gave us a rap. We really showed what we're made of early in the season.
"The stuff we've been working on in the summer was evident on the field, especially some of those defensive efforts on the try line where we were outstanding ... That's why I'm so upbeat even though we lost.
"There was stuff in the weekend's game that you literally can't buy. It's desire and attitude, and I thought we had that in spades."
Front-rower Aiden Tolman said the forwards hadn't done anything differently at training despite their increased workloads.
"[The game was] a really big lesson for us and a really big confidence boost that our systems and our processes really work," Tolman said.
Queensland games moved to Sydney, AAMI Park match remains
"Coming up against a side that hasn't lost yet in Parra who throw plenty at you, really it was 10-4 for the majority of the game ... Our defensive systems held up. That's got to be our benchmark."
Meanwhile, Townsend is relishing the prospect of facing off against his "great mate" Valentine Holmes for the first time after missing both games against North Queensland last season.
Townsend joked that Holmes may get some "extra attention" from his ex-teammates.
"At his best, he's probably one of the best in the competition, so we're going to have our hands full containing him," he said.