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Brown unfazed by chairman's comments

Knights coach Nathan Brown has brushed off suggestions his position is under threat after comments made by chairman Brian McGuigan earlier in the week.

‌With three wins from 39 matches since taking over the reins from Rick Stone in 2016, Newcastle's 33-12 loss to the Wests Tigers on the weekend was among their worst under the guidance of Brown and was not well received by McGuigan who told a reporter the coach had until the end of the season to prove himself.

A confident Brown was adamant his future was secure when asked on Wednesday.

"I didn't pay too much attention [to the comments]," Brown said.

"We've got a plan that myself, John Quayle, Darren Mooney, Matt Gidley and the board put in place 18 months ago and it's a good plan that will give us our best long-term shot and we'll stick to it.

"I know I've got the support from the right people and who have been around rugby league for a long time that understands what it takes to build a club.

"We inherited a situation we're in and chose a path of younger players to start with and we now have money to spend that we didn't have this time last year.

"Anyone that understands rugby league and watches the game closely can tell a lot of the younger players have developed.

"It doesn't mean the result on the weekend is acceptable, we're all disappointed in that."

One of the more disappointing aspects of the performance against the Tigers on Sunday was centred on going back into bad habits. Previously, the Knights have led on eight occasions against some top four sides but were blown away early to trail 20-0 at the break.

"At Shark Park we went down 19-18, went to Lottoland and went down 18-16 [against Manly] and they're in the top four, then we went to Kogarah and went down 32-28 [to the Dragons] and they were in the top eight," Brown said.

"We created some good expectations which the players earned and we'll just keep educating the players and working our way through it."

With the Knights set to enter the parochial Belmore venue on Sunday, Brown understands the occasion of saying farewell to local favourite Josh Reynolds will have an emotional impact on the game.

Trent Hodkinson has been retained after a lacklustre performance and will face former teammate Reynolds in the opposite No.6 jersey.

"What a great competitor he has been for the Bulldogs and I'm sure he's one of those players that when he is not there, people will realise what he brought to the team," Brown said of Reynolds.

"He is certainly not your classic golden style five-eighth but he is a great competitor."

Despite not training on Wednesday, Brown said Hodkinson would be fine to take on his former club and was hoping for an improved performance from the former Blues pivot.

"[Trent] never trains two days in a row," he said.

"The key for 'Hokko' and for us as a club is what he can deliver. 

"If we get him kicking the ball well, organising the team well, defending solidly, then that's what we have to expect him to do. Hokko is aware of what a good solid game for him is and if he does that, we should all be happy with that.

"He is up against some of his old teammates and his old coach as well so I'm sure he'll come back and make a good account of himself."

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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