Wade Graham says retaining James Shepherd as interim coach for the rest of the NRL season is best for the club, anchored to the bottom of the ladder.

Stand-in Cronulla captain Wade Graham says keeping interim coach James Shepherd at the helm for the rest of 2014 is the best outcome for the NRL club.

The Sharks board confirmed late on Wednesday that Shepherd would officially assume the role as head coach for the final seven matches of the season, having stepped up as caretaker when Peter Sharp resigned three weeks ago.

“I think it’s best for our all-round situation,” Graham told Fox Sports News.

“Obviously it would’ve been hard to get a new coach in for the last seven weeks, and Shep’s done a good job.

“He’s been through a tough season, the whole year, with us.

“So to see it out at the top, I think it’s probably the best thing all-round for everyone.”

Meanwhile, Paul Gallen could make a surprise return from a biceps injury in Saturday’s clash with Penrith in Bathurst.

The NSW skipper tore the muscle Cronulla’s round-19 loss to Newcastle and missed last week’s home defeat to North Queensland.

But, according to Graham, Gallen is doing everything he can to be fit for this weekend.

“He’s trying his hardest to convince the physios to let him go (play),” Graham said.

“Obviously he’s a massive bonus every time we have him play and he brings all the boys confidence – myself included.

“I’d love to see him back as soon as possible, hopefully this weekend.”

The Sharks are anchored at the bottom of the NRL ladder with just four wins in 17 games, while the Panthers are flying high in second spot.