Newcastle Knights' Jake Mamo has admitted the players are feeling guilty for the way former coach Rick Stone was dumped by the club on Monday following their 52-6 loss to the Rabbitohs last weekend.
Monday saw Stone's role at the club ruled to be 'untenable', the Knights instead naming former legend and assistant coach Danny Buderus to lead Newcastle for the final six rounds of the season.
With the matter immediately addressed by the playing group before training on Tuesday, Mamo also called for his teammates to regroup and bounce back in a big way against the Dragons this Sunday.
"It was pretty hard for us to cop. Everybody was taken by surprise definitely. We talked about it on Tuesday morning and we do feel guilty somewhat because we're all in this together as a team and we have played a part in how the team's been going this year. Unfortunately Stoney was one to wear the brunt of it," Mamo told NRL.com.
"Regardless of how things have panned out though, we have to prepare for a game on Sunday. We have trained pretty well. Danny's been around the club for the past 20 years and he's had a coaching role for the past two so he knows how we all work and not much will change."
The last player publically praised by Stone before his dismissal, Mamo was happy to take all the lessons learnt by his former mentor to help establish himself as a permanent fixture in the NRL.
Labelled "brave" for "trying his butt out and taking significant steps" in his development despite coming up against a strong Rabbitohs outfit during the Knights' 46-point loss, Mamo hopes to constantly build beside his fellow Newcastle young guns.
"Whenever a coach gives you a wrap on a performance you take a lot out of it. At this stage of my career, you have to try and get confidence out of every single game to continue on my string of good performances," Mamo said.
"I do take lessons out of every single game I play in the NRL. Whether you're losing by 50 or winning by 50 there's always lessons to be learnt especially at this stage of my career.
"With there being a couple of us young guys here it'll only make us stronger going through such things in terms of learning to be resilient."
The Knights this weekend will be one of seven teams to wear Marvel-inspired jerseys. Boasting the crest of Spiderman to take on the might of the Dragons and their Iron Man jumpers, Mamo was confident the friendly neighbourhood spiders would have the wood over the billionaire playboys at Jubilee Oval this weekend.
With Spider Mamo doing a photo shoot to help promote the jerseys, the 21-year-old said the extra exposure has made him realise the extra factors that are on offer being a professional rugby league player.
"I did the photo shoot in the Spiderman jersey a couple of weeks ago which was pretty exciting because I've never really done anything like that before so it was a bit different but good fun," Mamo said.
"I'm going through a stage now where everything is kind of new to me like even just sitting at home now doing this interview, doing photo shoots or even just kids saying 'hi' to me on the streets, don't get me wrong though – I'm loving it."