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NRL Premiership - Round 22, Newcastle Knights v Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs - Saturday 6 August 2016, Hunter Stadium Broadmeadow NSW - Photographer Shane Myers ©

Head coach Nathan Brown and joint-captain Trent Hodkinson spoke to the media following the Newcastle Knights' 28-14 loss to the Bulldogs.

"We had a lot of stuff where we can be really pleased with the boys' efforts," Brown said.

"We put ourselves in a position to win the game, but unfortunately in crucial stages we let ourselves down and some of our more inexperienced players didn't come up with the right plays at some really crucial stages. 

Brown believes five-eighth Jarrod Mullen's return to the team this week had a positive impact. 

"There's no doubt when Mullo (Mullen) is competing like he has been, it's quite infectious for the team," he said. 

"The key focus for him is his defensive game, which was super today, his kicking game and competing. 

"Off the back of that anything is a real bonus. There was some really good contribution to the game which we are really happy with."

Joint-captain Trent Hodkinson said crucial errors prevented the Knights from asserting their dominance during the match. 

"We felt the momentum changing and felt as if we had the Dogs shot there for a bit and on the back foot," he said.

"Then we came up with an error off the scrum which hurt us a bit and then the game changed after that and they started to get on top.

"We did well to get ourselves back into the game and to level it up, but disappointing we came up with a crucial error at a crucial time of the game and couldn't turn things around."

During the match Nathan Ross suffered a hamstring injury, which Brown said he doesn't believe is too serious despite preventing his return to the field. 

With four more games until season's end, Brown is confident the young team is working closer to a win.

"If you look at how hard the boys competed today, that's a good start for us," he said.

"If we  get some good committment and can keep some people on the field and name the same team, 

"I'm sure we can pick up a win or two coming home."

"I think all would agree apart from one or two games, most of our home games, we really put ourselves in the fight."