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Newcastle five-eighth Jarrod Mullen says he is thoroughly enjoying life in the halves with skipper Kurt Gidley, admitting the new combination has given him the independence to play his natural game.     

Speaking after Sunday's victory over a Parramatta, Mullen praised Gidley for helping him rediscover his best football in the past two weeks. 

"Kurt is definitely taking the pressure off me," Mullen told Knights TV. 

"He does a lot of talking out there and I can play my own natural game, so I’m loving playing alongside Gids at the moment.”     

On the back of victories over North Queensland and Parramatta, the Knights have moved up to 14th position on the competition table after 16 rounds. 

While a finals berth remains an unlikely reality, Mullen says the playing group hasn’t given up hope of playing in September.  

"We're starting to build a bit of confidence around the group after those wins," he says. 

"I thought it was a real tough performance against Parramatta and our defence really held strong.

"Our attack has still got a little bit of work to go, but as long as we keep competing like that we are going to be in most games.

"We know we can score points when we need to, but it’s just a matter of holding onto the ball and defending our tryline.

"I thought we did that well against Parramatta, especially when they’ve got some great attacking players in Jarryd Hayne and Chris Sandow.

"Hopefully we can build on that effort to finish the season now."