Des Hasler admits he thought his new deal at Manly would be much simpler to finalise but says he doesn’t have any issue with the performance clauses included.
Hasler signed a two-year extension on Thursday night to stay at the Sea Eagles, taking him to at least his 300th game in charge of the club next season.
But it isn’t a cut-and-dry deal with the team he spent most of his playing career at.
Manly have given themselves immediate stability by keeping Hasler on board, but the veteran coach must make the finals either this year or next to activate 2023.
A further year could also be added in 2024, with Manly management having moved carefully to ensure they are not exposed to a costly and messy exit if there is a lack of success.
The Sea Eagles have been burnt in the past by the Trent Barrett and Geoff Toovey exits, both costing the club financially.
The breakthrough this week came after almost 12 months of negotiations, and after the spotlight was firmly placed on Hasler following last weekend’s 46-4 loss to the Sydney Roosters.
“When you’ve been sort of in the game this long, I thought it’d be a lot more simple than that,” Hasler said of the drawn-out negotiations on Friday.
“But that’s the nature of the beast, isn’t it?
“Performance clauses (usually) refers to things like top-four or top-eight. That’s what I sort of read it as that.
“But it certainly wasn’t about any of that issue, it’s just, it was just what it is and it’s now been done.”
Hasler maintained the majority of the deal was nutted out before Christmas and he had not grown concerned over speculation in the past week.
He also wouldn’t enter into talk on whether a role as a coaching director at Manly would follow, instead declaring he has a squad that can win a premiership with him in charge.
“I think we do (have a squad to win a premiership),” he said.
“I really do.”
But he also knows things must turn around fast with a heavy emphasis on their edge defence against South Sydney at Lottoland on Saturday.
After being worked over there last week by the Roosters, the Rabbitohs pose an even larger threat with Latrell Mitchell and Cody Walker playing both sides of the ruck.
Kieran Foran will recover from a leg cork to play, but Manly were dealt another blow on their right edge on Friday with Curtis Sironen ruled out for up to six weeks with a knee injury.
“It wasn’t so much technical (problems on the edge). It was just execution and we’ve worked on it,” Hasler said.
“They (the Rabbitohs) are pretty potent down both sides. They have skilful players we need to cut down their time.
“The players know they have to give a good account of what we’re capable of.”