After a disappointing result on Saturday night against the Brisbane Broncos, coach Wayne Bennett denied missing out on the finals meant the Knights lacked a desire to win.
"I think they’re bigger than that and better than that," the coach said.
The Knights were minus a number of regular starters, including Jarrod Mullen, Jeremy Smith and Kade Snowden, who were all named to play but the captain didn't use that as an excuse.
“When someone’s ruled out through injury or suspension or whatever it might be, you’ve just got to move on as quickly as you can and try and get your head right for the game,” Kurt Gidley said
"It wasn’t about effort tonight, it was about execution.
"Especially our last plays."
Mullen is expected to return in Round 25 from a corkd calf but the season is over for Smith and Snowden.
Bennett reinterated his support for players banned by ASADA for a matter at the Cronulla Sharks in 2011.
“I’m just extremely disappointed in any of the staff that were there that induced those players to do what they did,” Bennett said.
“We’ve got a greater responsibility than any of that. They trust us.”
Gidley added the duo felt like they have let the team down.
"We were disappointed for those guys, for their situation and they felt like they let us down, not being able to finish the year with us," he said.
The Knights now return to Newcastle and take on the Parramatta Eels and the St George Dragons to conclude season 2014.