Newcastle Knights’ forward Tariq Sims acknowledges while there is no simple way of turning the season around, the side is working hard to rectify the situation.
“We are trying our best and doing everything on the training paddock to make sure we are putting our best foot forward,” Sims said on Tuesday.
“We just keep shooting ourselves in the foot.
“We are going to turn this around. It’s going to take hard work, there’s no easy way out of this.
“We are back at it today and hitting the grindstone."
Despite coming up against tough opposition in the past five rounds, Sims admits responsibility falls on the Knights’ ability to produce consistent, error-free football.
“A couple of things aren’t going our way and a couple of silly mistakes that we keep making, keep happening,” he said.
“We have to learn and improve from our mistakes from week to week, but a couple of us are just dropping the ball when we shouldn’t be and taking a breath and relaxing when we shouldn’t be.
“The only thing we need to make sure we are doing is doing the hard yards and putting ourbest foot forward.
“We have the talent and the players in the right positions and just need a couple of calls to go our way and to just focus a little bit more.
“I’m bitterly disappointed in dropping that ball against Manly. I think we went in there with a good game plan and trained really well all week.
“But when it came down the crunch time, we just relaxed too much."
Like the Knights, Wests Tigers have accrued eight competition points leading into Round 10, but Sims says he and his teammates are particularly wary of the opposition.
“It’s a big game this weekend and we have big Martin Taupau charging at us,” Sims added.
“They have their outside backs playing really well.
“They had a blemish last weekend, but I’m sure they’ll turn it around.
“We have to make sure we are training and preparing well for this weekend.”
It was a delayed start to the season for the new recruit due to a suspension.
“It’s good to get back out on the field and I love playing footy and I love doing it for the Knights,” Sims said.
“It’s just tough at the minute because we are going through a tough patch.
“It’s just going to take a group effort and everyone is going to have to put their hand up this weekend against the Tigers."
While times are tough, Sims was relieved to cross the line on Sunday to score his first try for the Club.
“It was good to get one and I was very proud,” he said.
“I’m very happy with it and it’s good to start getting points on the board.
“I was getting a bit of stick off my older brother (Ashton), he’s got a couple over in England (Super League).
“He said I was starting a bit slow.”
After gaining selection in the Country Origin side, the 25-year-old hopes his current form places him in contention for selection in the NSW State of Origin side.
“I’m chewing at the bit and hopefully I get a call from Laurie (Daley)…to even say that I’m in the mix,” he admitted.
“I’m just making sure I’m doing my best for the Knights and when the Origin team is selected, hopefully I’m in the mix or thereabouts."