Wests Tigers Head Coach Ivan Cleary says his side are simply focused on rectifying last week's loss — and not bridging a four-point gap to the top eight or a points differential — as they look to keep their season alive against the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles this Thursday night at Campbelltown Sports Stadium.
Needing to win their final two matches and hope that either the Broncos or Warriors lose their final two games, Cleary said the focus for his side is more around turning around a haphazard performance with the ball in hand — ensuring they finish the year strong in what will be the club's final home game of the year.
"We weren't happy with how last week went — that's obvious," Cleary told reporters on Wednesday.
"But we get to play first [in the round] so all we can do now is play our best footy tomorrow night.
"The situation is in our hands now, and that's all we can concentrate on.
"After that's done, we'll see how the weekend pans out.
"If we don't win, it's all over.
"But all things being equal, we just want to play well any weekend and when you get to the end of the season, you finish where you deserve," he added.
"After last week, our main focus is putting on a much better performance which we feel like we should.
"I think it's also really important that we do it for the fans who come out to watch us tomorrow night — we feel obliged to make sure we do it for them too."
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As well as needing results to go their way over the final two rounds to make the top eight, Cleary's side will also need to see at least a 45-point swing in their favour in for-and-against — leaving some questions as to whether the team will adopt a more attacking mindset for tomorrow night's clash with the Sea Eagles.
Not giving too much away on the matter, Cleary said that his side would certainly need to be better in attack than they were last week, but also emphasised they can't forsake their defensive "cornerstone".
"I think, firstly against Manly who have some attacking weapons, our defence — which has been the cornerstone of our season this year — needs to be good," Cleary enthused.
"For us to win tomorrow night, that's going to be at the forefront of what we're trying to do.
"If we can defend well, then generally speaking, the rest of our game comes off the back of that."
See what Ivan Cleary had to say in full about this week's game in the video above!