Co-captain Aidan Guerra believes it is "now or never" for Newcastle if the Knights want to keep their Telstra Premiership finals hopes alive, in a "must win" game against the Bulldogs.
Boosted by the news of some new signings this week in Sharks winger Edrick Lee and Wests Tigers forward JJ Felise, the Knights will also welcome back Jacob Lillyman, Jamie Buhrer and Nathan Ross to the extended squad, with all three likely to play the Dogs.
"I think we are at a point in our season where wins are the only thing that is going to count and it doesn't matter who we are going to come up against," Guerra said.
"It's the perfect time to strike and it is pretty much now or never for us and as I said, it does not matter who our next three sides are, they are must-win games."
Felise's contract with the Knights is effective immediately but only for the remainder of the season so he will have to prove himself quickly to get a contract extension.
Knights coach Nathan Brown said Felise would start in the Intrust Super Premiership, despite not being named this weekend, and step up to the Telstra Premiership when required.
"He's a good young emerging player," Brown said.
"His form in reserve grade has been strong, he has good leg speed, is of good character, and we thought that he could offer something to our squad now.
"I would be disappointed if he didn't play some NRL ... he is bringing that extra leg speed which is something that can add to our side."
Newcastle's recruitment of Lee for next season has not changed their plans to sign Blake Ferguson from the Roosters, according to Brown.
Star halfback Mitchell Pearce has resumed training, although he is yet to do contact work.
Saturday's clash is the first of four home games in Newcastle's next five matches and while they will be short-priced favourites, given the recent departures of Moses Mbye and Aaron Woods from Belmore, Guerra said they had not earned the right to take any match for granted.
"Before the bye we came up against some very good sides, and we were really begging for the bye to come around - it was a tough period of football," Guerra said.
"So hopefully we can benefit from having that week off and come in fresh, but in saying that, both sides will be just as fresh.
"They have made a few changes at their club, and they are going to try to hit the ground running.
"We can't go in there thinking that we are favourites we are going to come away with a victory - because that's not how it works this week."