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Newcastle's inconsistent form meant Dane Gagai didn't get to consume his usual quota of Easter eggs, but the strike centre refuses to let the tough times get him down.

In the lead-up to Saturday's vital Round 8 clash against the Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium, Gagai has called on his team to use last year's surge to September as motivation to turnaround their season.

The Knights were in ninth position after 14 rounds last year, before charging home with six wins and one draw from their remaining 10 matches to qualify for the finals.

Gagai has no doubts his side can replicate that type of form again this season.  

"After last week’s performance (against Brisbane) on the Easter weekend, I didn’t get to enjoy my chocolates," Gagai joked after training on Wednesday.

"So I’m looking forward to putting that behind us and moving forward.

"We had a good training session this morning and we’re looking to go to Sydney and hopefully do a job on the Bulldogs.

"We showed last year that we can turn it around, so no one’s head is in the dirt.

"We all know what we can do.

"So we worked on that hard this morning and we are looking to take that onto the game against the Bulldogs."

Gagai believes the Knights are getting closer to an 80-minute performance and is confident it will start with a strong showing against the Bulldogs on Saturday night. 

"We’ve just got to take those errors out of our game and a few penalties and I think we are definitely an 80-minute team," he says.

"We’ve got the players to do it."

The Knights will have to beat the Bulldogs without inspirational prop Willie Mason, who will be sidelined for two weeks after taking the early guilty plea for a grade two shoulder charge on Brisbane lock Corey Parker.

Gagai knows Mason will be sorely missed, but he remains confident the team can get the job done without their enforcer.

"We’ve got the depth," he says.

"Kade Snowden is a good solid forward and is a great player.

"It is a loss losing Willie, but in saying that we’ve got the players that can back it up and do a good job."

Speaking of doing a good job, Gagai has impressed in the opening rounds of the season. 

The Mackay-born flyer has been explosive with the ball in hand, while he has made a record number of runs (39) in the past two weeks. 

Gagai credits his strong form to a greater emphasis on helping his side perform.   

"I’m just trying to focus on myself and what I can provide to the team," he says.

"If that’s taking a few hit-ups just to give our forwards a bit of a breather, I’ll go in and do that if I’m not seeing much ball.

"That’s been a big key emphasis in trying to do my job, is just trying to give the forwards a breather.

"Because the big boys in the middle are doing all the defence, so the least I can do is get in there and take a hit up for them."