Interim North Queensland coach Josh Hannay admits he will have no idea how his players have coped with Paul Green's abrupt exit until Friday's NRL clash with Manly.
While sad to see Green leave, Hannay said he would be wasting no time putting his own "spin" on the Cowboys in a bid to impress powerbrokers and earn the job on a fulltime basis.
However, Hannay conceded the players may take a little longer to get their heads right after premiership-winning mentor Green's departure.
Green ended his seven-year stint on Monday after being told by the Cowboys board his services would not be required in 2021.
"I don't think we will know until Friday night once the game starts...whether they have a clear head," Hannay said.
"Players are good at telling you what you want to hear.
"I don't think we will know until Friday night whether they will be able to get on with the job and put this behind them.
"They will be hurting for Paul, they had a lot of respect for Paul."
While Hannay was quietly confident the Cowboys would give it their "best shot" against the Sea Eagles, veteran winger Justin O'Neill admitted players would need time to process Green's departure.
"It's new territory," he said.
"No one is really equipped for what has happened. We have to take it step by step.
"This year has been pretty disruptive as it is. It hasn't been easy to say the least.
"We are all very disappointed about the decision. It's sad to see someone who has done so much for the club leave."
Veteran back-rower Gavin Cooper was hopeful the 12th-placed Cowboys would bounce back under Hannay.
"Now the club has made a decision we have to get on and support it and look forward," he said.
"It's a fresh start. We need to get around Josh and support him and hopefully get back into winning games of footy."
Meanwhile, Hannay said he wouldn't be reinventing the wheel as interim coach but would be putting his own stamp on the Cowboys.
"You will see a slight change in how we play and prepare," he said.
"It's not about tearing everything down. It's about putting my touch and spin on things."