Faint 'pulse' gives Knights hope
Between interim coach Danny Buderus and veteran club man Clint Newton, the duo have discovered a "pulse" within the team which they are looking to expand on in the final month of the season, despite their 38-22 loss to the Roosters on Sunday.
While the 26-0 half-time scoreline in their opposition's favour was ultimately their demise, the fact they were able to run four second-half tries past the premiership favourites gave Buderus a flicker of hope.
As Kade Snowden, James McManus, Robbie Rochow, Jarrod Mullen and Jack Stockwell sat injured on the sidelines – as well as the untimely retirement of David Fa'alogo over the weekend – Buderus hopes his relatively young squad don't get too accustomed to losing.
"I just expressed to the boys then, we do have a pulse there. There are a lot of young guys in there that are hurting. I don't want to get them used to this losing habit, that's the biggest thing," Buderus said post-game.
"They really take it personal and on board, which is a good thing, but you have to harness that and keep their standards high. They are a nucleus of a really good squad there in the next couple of years."
Unlike his former teammate and now coach Newton failed to sugar coat the dire situation the Knights find themselves in as they sit on the bottom rung of the Telstra Premiership ladder.
The Knights statesman didn't hold back in his assessment of his team's first half either, though did admit there were positives in how they responded in the second 40.
Newton was also thankful to the 17,000-strong Newcastle contingent who turned up to watch them. Unsurprised but grateful nevertheless, the 34-year-old drew upon the club's horrific 13-game losing streak of 2005 to showcase how much the fans mean to the club.
"If we put up the white flag what message does that send to the rest of the community? So of course we have a pulse. And you have to have that belief to say that we can do this," Newton told NRL.com.
"But it just seems as though we're making it extremely difficult for ourselves and the penny has to drop at some point. There's no way of getting around it though, we deserve to be last.
"It's as simple as that. You finish where you deserve to finish and at the moment we don't deserve to be any higher than where we are.
"It breaks your heart that people are prepared to pay their money and come and watch but without their support it would make it even harder. We're not making a lot of people proud at the moment but we'll keep trying to fight our way out of this."
Meanwhile Newton paid tribute to the 198 NRL game career of Fa'alogo after the former New Zealand and Samoa international retired from rugby league due to a neck injury just 24 hours before playing the Roosters.
"I think people don't realise the career that man has had because it's all come about due to him being so unassuming," Newton said.
"[David] doesn't say much, he's not your flamboyant sort of outspoken player but he does all his talking through his footy. It's shattering to think you don't get to finish how you thought you were going to finish.
"But he's had a fantastic career. He was a formidable opponent as well as a great team man. The work ethic he has shown with his football gives me great confidence he'll have a successful and enjoyable life post-footy."