Newcastle legend Andrew Johns believes the Knights will be languishing in the doldrums for a number of years, following their poor start to the NRL season.
The Knights were hammered 48-6 by South Sydney on Saturday in the NRL’s second round. That followed their 30-12 opening round loss to Gold Coast.
Rugby league immortal Johns was scathing of his former club’s efforts on the Nine Network’s Sunday Footy Show.
“It was like men against boys, it was very hard to watch,” Johns said of the Rabbitohs/Knights fixture.
“I was disappointed with some of the (Knights) senior players, there was a real lack of commitment.
“Some of those missed tackles were pathetic, there was a real lack of desire.”
Knights coach Nathan Brown sought positives in the efforts of some of his youngsters after the loss to South and pleaded for time.
Something rugby league immortal Johns said he is going to need plenty of.
“There is going to be so much pain moving forward because Nathan Brown is rebuilding,” Johns said.
“I think Nathan Brown, he needs time, he needs three or four years to get this club up and running.
“The fans need to be patient.”
Johns did say there was some hope for the Knights.
“The good signs for the Knights is that their under 16s and under 18s are winning every game by 30 or 40 points,” Johns said.
“They have to make sure that next generation is really well coached, they have to make sure the best kids are well looked after and they want to represent Newcastle.”