Parramatta veteran Beau Scott feared the worst when coach Brad Arthur gathered the team for a huddle before Friday's NRL match against Manly.
"Honestly I thought it was going to go the other way, I thought he was going to tell us he was leaving," Scott said.
But in the first ray of sunshine on what has been a very dark year at Parramatta, Arthur became the first player or coach to either sign, or re-sign, a deal with the club this year.
The defiant Eels coach on Friday put pen to paper on a contract to stay until the end of 2019.
Despite the most turbulent season in Parramatta history, Arthur said it wasn't a hard decision.
"It's easy. I love the club and I love this playing group and we're all in it together," he said.
"It doesn't look great from the outside but trust me it's a good strong playing group and they're all very happy here. They love coming to training. I love my job and I wouldn't change it for anything."
The Eels celebrated the re-signing by claiming their 11th win of the season, a 10-9 upset over arch rivals Manly at Pirtek Stadium that all but ended the Sea Eagles' finals hopes.
Scott said the former Manly assistant coach has been pivotal in the team's ability to play through the dramas this season.
"I haven't been at a club that's gone through the amount of back page and front page stories we have this year. Credit to Brad being able to get the playing group on task every week and able to perform," he said.
The victory lifts the Eels to 13th spot ahead of a final month against Brisbane, Canberra, St George Illawarra and the Warriors.