Daly Cherry-Evans says he "laughs at" criticism surrounding his $10 million price tag as his Sea Eagles sit winless after two rounds.
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Cherry-Evans' performances have come under fire after Manly's lacklustre start to the season with losses to Canterbury and the Tigers. Criticism has followed after Cherry-Evans became one of the highest paid players in the competition signing a $10 million life-time deal from this season.
"I laugh about it," Cherry-Evans said. "I am getting sledged about how much money I make. There are worse sledges in the world. They're naysayers. I completely respect other people's opinion, but it is their opinion. I respect more the people's opinions that have a full effect on my day-to-day life – my teammates, my coaches and my family and friends. It is nothing but support from them."
Manly have struggled to live up to their pre-season hype under new coach Trent Barrett. Cherry-Evans said having a host of new faces would always mean a slower start to the year.
"It is definitely not ideal," he said. "But we definitely haven't lost confidence as a playing group. Externally there was a lot of hype around us but we knew within the side that there was going to be a lot of hard work to get the continuity.
"It's taken longer than we would have liked but it's not going to stop us from working hard and getting it right sooner rather than later.
"When we do click, it is all going to work and I am going to have a big smile on my face and a bit of 'I told you so'. Until that time comes I am going to have to keep my head down and keep working with the boys.
"I have so much faith in this side and the coaching staff. I hope our supporters can hang in there because when we do win and win well, it is going to be really pleasing because I know it is going to kick-start our season."
Like Barrett, Cherry-Evans said the 36-22 loss to the Tigers on Monday night was an improvement from their round one defeat against the Bulldogs. They return to Brookvale Oval on Monday night to face the in-form Cronulla Sharks.
"The first week we gave up 22 points and didn't even look like chasing them down," Cherry-Evans said. "Unfortunately again we let them [Wests Tigers] get out to a big lead but this week we did put ourselves in position to win the game. So I think that is a great sign.
"Stick together and keep working hard – we know that is the secret to getting out of a couple of losses. We have been in this position before so we know that hard work and sticking together with your teammates is the priority.
"We're losing games so obviously walking off very disappointed after the first two games. I am still very confident in the side and hopefully doing my role better in the coming weeks to help everyone get a win.
"We don't feel as though we're far off snagging a nice win. Hopefully it is Monday night in front of some passionate Brookie fans."