Head coach Nathan Brown and joint-captain Trent Hodkinson spoke to the media following the Round 21 loss to the Manly Sea Eagles at Brookvale Stadium.
A lack of intensity from the Knights at the start of the match put the side on the back foot.
"I would have liked us to competed better from the start of the game," Brown said.
"I'm not interested in second half fight backs.
"Physically at the start of the game we didn't compete in that first 25-30 minutes."
Another issue compounding the Knights' worries was the absence of a number of key players.
"We have a lot of people unavailable to play and have a lot of younger people playing,' he said.
Since Mitch Barnett has been in and Sione (Mata'utia) in the back row, and Robbie Rochow came back from injury, they were probably our three dominant forwards.
"With the depth of our squad, which is very small at the minute, when we lose those players, it has a huge impact.
"They also are players who have a really big care about the scoreboard, so the way they compete is really good.
"When we lost them after the Melbourne game, we knew it was going to get tough again and that's the reality of where we are at, at the moment.
"I'd just like us to be able to fight harder at the start of a game."