Wounded Eagles playing to earn NRL respect

Steve Zemek
Daly Cherry-Evans says Manly's bid to earn respect needs a strong performance against the Roosters

Daly Cherry-Evans admits Manly need to earn back respect after they narrowly missed collecting the NRL's wooden spoon last season.

The Sea Eagles skipper said many in the playing group still had last year's second-last finish in the back of their minds and were out to turn the tide of opinions in their opposition and fans.

He said after falling well below expectations - and finishing just one win above 16th spot - they owed it to their supporters and themselves to show signs of improvement starting with Saturday's clash with premiers the Sydney Roosters on Saturday.

"For the boys last year it's maybe something that's sitting in the back our your head," Cherry-Evans said.

"This is our first opportunity to play in front of our fans at home this year. I'm sure they've got a couple of scars from last year given some of the games they had to watch."

Their new campaign got off to a rusty start in the weekend's 20-6 loss to the Wests Tigers at a sodden Leichhardt Oval.

And Cherry-Evans said a win over last year's champions at Lottoland this weekend would go a long way to boosting their confidence.

"They're the reigning premiers, we'll give them plenty of respect," he said.

"There's certainly a lot going out there this weekend that we can control to improve our football. If we make that the priority this weekend I feel like it's going to give us a good chance to get the result we're after."

They weren't without their challenges against the Tigers - they are sporting an unfamiliar spine with Api Koroisau returning from a long lay-off, Kane Elgey coming into the club and fullback Tom Trbojevic still one to two weeks off returning from a hamstring injury.

But Cherry-Evans said their defeat at the hands of the Tigers could be put down to failing to play wet weather football, and coach Des Hasler had impressed upon his troops that all their problems were rudimentary and fixable.

"There was no doors broken or anything like that, (Hasler) gave a pretty fair assessment after the game and again yesterday," Cherry-Evans said.

"We're really clear on where we can improve as a side.

"If we had have walked in, scratched our heads and not had any answers, that would have been a concern. But we've identified the ways we can improve."