Newcastle hasn't beaten North Queensland in Townsville in two seasons and will face a desperate Cowboys side on Monday staring down the barrel of four consecutive defeats, but coach Wayne Bennett can only see positives.
In the lead-up to Monday's crucial round 5 clash at 1300SMILES Stadium, Bennett believes a road trip to Queensland to take on a Cowboys side languishing in 13th position is a good challenge for his football team.
"Well we haven’t (been going well) either, so we’ve got nothing to hang our hats on," Bennett said after training on Friday.
"I’m sure they’ll be keen to play well, but we’ll be keen to play as well.
"It’s a good place to play.
"It’s not a difficult place to play Townsville, particularly in the night time.
"It’s got a great atmosphere up there, so I think we are all looking forward to it and just want to get away and play some more football so we can put some things behind us."
Bennett believes the Knights can take plenty of confidence from last Sunday's 30-0 victory over Cronulla.
"Well I hope so," he says.
"It was a good performance, particularly in the first half and in very adverse conditions, so hopefully we got some confidence.
"That’s what we were looking for, a bit of confidence, and it might be the best thing that’s happened to us in the last month of football that we’ve played.
"That we got a bit of belief in how we can play our football again and get on with the season."
Asked how Newcastle would prepare for another match after last weekend's emotional win against the Sharks, Bennett said his players would be ready for the game.
"Well that remains to be seen, but we’ve been pretty good this week," he says.
"I think last week was a lot tougher week for us than this week is going to be, so we should be ok.
"I think we’ve handled things well internally with the players and we’ve pretty much got a mindset now of knowing everyday what Alex’s condition is and thinking about him, but at the same time we all know that we’ve got a job to do and we’ve got to keep going.
"It’s not going to help Alex if we don’t play well.
"He’ll enjoy it a lot more if we play well and it will encourage him more to meet the challenges that he has to meet."
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