The Newcastle Knights have thrown their support behind under-fire coach Adam O’Brien and hope to have him on board for the ‘next 10 years’.
The Knights got the season off to an electric start with wins over the Roosters and Tigers. It looked as though a successful campaign was on the cards but things have gone pear shaped since then.
Newcastle have lost seven on the bounce and sit bottom of the NRL ladder. They are in desperate need of a win when they face fellow strugglers the Bulldogs in the Magic Round.
O’Brien gets full support
An eighth successive loss and the knives really will be out. However O’Brien and his coaching staff have the full support of the powers that be.
Newcastle’s Chief Executive Officer Phil Gardner has been speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald and says 44-year-old O’Brien is still very much the man for the job.
“We hope that Adam is with us for the next 10 years. I think we have the right group of people. Our club is a team and the good clubs have great teamwork,” he told the Herald.
In fairness the Knights have been hit hard by injuries. And they have played some of the top teams in the comp. Penrith, Cronulla, Manly, Parramatta, Melbourne and North Queensland are all in the top eight.
Newcastle keeping the faith
Even so the manner of some of the defeats have been alarming to say the least. Gardner is prepared to keep the faith though. He is happy with the team in place and would not swap it for any other in the NRL.
“We’ve got Adam O’Brien, Danny Buderus, Andrew Johns, Hayden Knowles, and Clint Zammit is heading up our recruitment,” Gardner added. “I look across the game and there’s no other group I’d swap it for – and that includes Melbourne.”
The Bulldogs have also won just two from nine this season. The pressure remains on coach Trent Barrett and that is sure to intensify should they lose.
The stakes could not be much higher in the opening clash of the Magic Round at Suncorp Stadium.
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