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Following the 30-20 loss to the Penrith Panthers in Round 11 at McDonald Jones Stadium, Knights TV spoke to the returning Mitch Barnett in the sheds.

While he was pleased to come back from a four-week injury layoff, he was unhappy with the way the Panthers managed to turn the momentum of the match in the second half.

“I thought we started off the game really well, but we just didn’t put ourselves in the position to win at the end,” he explained.

“It felt good to blow the cobwebs out.”

While the red and blues raced out to a 14-point lead early on, the Panthers scored five unanswered tries in the second half before Pete Mata’utia came up with a late try for the Knights.

Considering how much the Knights dominated in the opening exchanges, Barnett said the home side needed to make the most of their momentum and put the game beyond doubt.

“The Panthers are a real momentum side… last week I think they piled on three tries in eight minutes,” he added.

“They just love the momentum, and they got that.

“But we’ve got to be a lot better there, and we’ll see in our video that we did some things very poorly.”

Turning his attention to future weeks, Barnett says the Knights will benefit from the bye before taking on three top-eight sides away from home.

“We’ve got a bye now and we really need to rest up, because we’ve got a tough couple of weeks coming up,” he said.

“The Storm are at the top of the table, and we’re obviously on the other end.”

According to coach Nathan Brown, the two byes in the upcoming Origin series will present a good opportunity for improvement.

“Last year I wasn’t here during the Origin period, but Browny said the team really improved,” Barnett said.

“I feel like we’re on the verge of improving, so hopefully this year we can do the same around this Origin period.”