Captain Kurt Gidley says the Newcastle playing group’s attitude remains the NRL club’s problem and criticism of coach Rick Stone is unwarranted.
Having won just once since early April, Stone is facing greater scrutiny with each loss.
The Knights had high hopes heading to Canberra last week when Jarrod Mullen, Tyrone Roberts, Jeremy Smith and Kade Snowden all made their returns.
However, they left the nation’s capital with their tails between their legs after being blown off the park by a Blake Austin hat-trick inside 15 minutes on the way to a 36-22 defeat.
Gidley said he understood why Stone was under pressure but it was the responsibility of the playing group to turn around their six-game losing streak.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time under Stoney’s coaching now and previously,” Gidley said.
“It (criticism of Stone) is unwarranted. We’re the guys out there on the field and we need to sort things out on the field.”
“It’s our attitude to defending, it’s our attitude to training, turning up and wanting to be a better team and being better players.
“I, 100 per cent, support Stoney as head coach.”
Gidley said he was at a loss to pinpoint the root of the Knights’ problems and felt for the fans during their rut.
“It would be tough as a fan to watch us at the moment, especially the past two games where defensively we’ve been poor to start the game,” Gidley said.
“You can say it’s an attitude thing or a belief thing – whether it’s a confidence thing or all those things coming together.
“But the attitude part is a tough one to take. We need to turn up with the right attitude to make sure we want to be there.”