Newcastle Knights coach Nathan Brown desperately needs a win. Picture: Darren Pateman/AAP
Newcastle Knights coach Nathan Brown desperately needs a win. Picture: Darren Pateman/AAP

Brown shrugs off the pressure as Knights struggle

NEWCASTLE coach Nathan Brown knows pressure comes with the job at the under-performing Knights, but insists he won't be deterred by it.

Brown suddenly became the latest coach in the NRL spotlight after Newcastle fell to their fourth straight loss on the weekend.

His side desperately need to turn things around against Gold Coast on Sunday.

Now in his fourth year at the Knights, Brown is in a unique position.

The 45-year-old is on an open-ended NRL contract that is entirely performance-based, giving the club the power to retain him for as long as they like or discharge him as results dictate.

"There are four or five of us coaches who are all on one win, and with that mounts pressure," Brown told reporters on Tuesday.

"That's the nature of the job that we sign up for and you've got to accept that. The criticism is not personal, it's just what happens when you're losing games as a rugby league coach.

"We know as a club and a team we're very close and we could have quite easily won another one or two games and the scoreboard looks a lot better.

"But the reality is we didn't so with that comes a kick up the bum, which you've got to accept."

Brown has rebuilt Newcastle from the ground up, taking a slow approach to get the Knights right after assuming the coaching role at the start of 2016.

But results are now expected in the Hunter with a roster that looks capable on paper of going deep into the NRL finals.

Brown was under similar scrutiny in his six years as St George Illawarra boss, despite making the finals in all but one year.

Wayne Bennett duly won the title with the Dragons in 2010, relying upon a roster largely built by Brown.

Asked how secure he felt on Tuesday, Brown said: "You don't look at that sort of stuff.

"I have been coaching for ages and I don't think any coach comes into the season saying they hope they get the bullet.

"You've just got to believe in what you're doing.

"I've been around long enough to know we've got a lot of good things happening, and we've got one or two things happening that we need to do a touch better."

Brown also defended halfback Mitchell Pearce, noting he'd long been an easy target for criticism and that teammates needed to stand up around him.

- AAP

News Corp Australia


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