Newcastle’s toughest opponents this NRL season have been themselves, according to star halfback Trent Hodkinson.
In coach Nathan Brown’s first year in the Hunter, the Knights are anchored to the bottom of the NRL ladder with just one win from the opening nine rounds.
Their cause has been further hampered by a hamstring injury to five-eighth Jarrod Mullen, who is expected to miss up to 12 weeks of football.
Like most of his teammates, incumbent NSW halfback Hodkinson has struggled for form this year.
“It’s been a little bit inconsistent and we are making it very hard on ourselves to win games,” the Knights co-captain said at training on Tuesday.
“There were a couple of games where we should of won but we didn’t.
“It’s not where we want it to be at the moment and there’s plenty of room for improvement.
“We are killing ourselves, that’s probably the overview at the moment.”
Hodkinson will continue his new scrumbase partnership with rookie Brock Lamb for Sunday’s round 10 match against Cronulla at Hunter Stadium.
“It’s good to see Lamb get a crack. He has had a great pre-season and is such a mature young kid,” Hodkinson said.
“Being without Jarrod for quite some time now, we’ll have to find that combination and hopefully that will improve each week.”
Hodkinson has two more games to press his claims for the NSW No.7 jersey before coach Laurie Daley names his side for State of Origin I on May 23.
Adam Reynolds could usurp Hodkinson as the Blues No.7.
“I haven’t thought about it too much,” Hodkinson said.
“I want to get things right at Newcastle first and that’s where my focus is.
“I want to get my game right here and start winning games and that will look after itself.
“I need to improve and know I can improve moving forward for Newcastle.”