nib Newcastle Knights CEO Matt Gidley spoke to the media on Monday, following Sunday’s loss to the Wests Tigers at McDonald Jones Stadium.
“Everyone’s hurting after the game,” stated Gidley.
“Everyone involved with the Club, whether that’s Members or supporters, players; we’re all disappointed in the performance yesterday.
“Whenever we play at home, we want to give a good account of ourselves and that was certainly below our standard yesterday.
“The fact that we’d been on the road for about six weeks and didn’t have an opportunity to play at home had everyone excited about getting back to Newcastle and playing in front of a great crowd again.
“It was just disappointing that we weren’t able to play to our potential.
“The team takes great pride playing at home in front of home fans and the opportunity now is to all pull together and we’d like to see a response this weekend against the Bulldogs.”
Gidley said it is crucial to stick together through the challenging times.
“Everyone knows we’ve got a young squad, they’ve had their bumps along the way and yesterday was certainly one of those,” maintained the Knights CEO.
“For us it’s about sticking together.
“My time as a player, we had plenty of bumpy periods and the way you get out of them was by pulling together and working nice and hard and acknowledging where you went wrong.”
While contract negotiations remain ongoing for season 2018, the focus is on improving in 2017.
“We are in negotiations with a number of players and there’ll be some positive news around that in the not too distant future but the focus for us is this year,” Gidley commented.
“We have got Members and supporters who turn up in their droves, 20,000 there yesterday, so it’s important that’s what we focus on.
“Let’s not worry too much about 2018 and let’s worry about supporting our fans that turn up and support us at every home match.”
With a number of players off-contract, Gidley said the best thing they can do is show their dedication and commitment to the Club and the town.
“The message for any of our players who are off contract is to go out and play well,” Gidley explained.
“It is the best thing you can do and to demonstrate your commitment to the team and if you do that over a period of time, you are rewarded with a contract.
“Contracts aren’t given away; they are there to be earned and they’re a reward for hard work and consistent performances.
“It is not ideal but the best thing is to put it out of your mind, to play consistently well and those things generally take care of themselves.”
The Knights CEO knows the players will be keen to get back out there and put on a good performance after Sunday.
“Our job is to make sure Knights fans leave the ground, they’ve got a bounce in their step and are really proud of how their team plays and competes each week,” said Gidley.
“That is why it makes it all the more difficult when we saw people walk out with their heads down yesterday.
“Our crowds to date have been sensational and I’ve said a number of times, they are the best fans in the game.
“We will never take that for granted but we need to stand forward during difficult times and then we’re going to work hard to turn things around.”
Meanwhile, there is no update in regard to the Club’s ownership.
“The NRL are leading the negotiations and everyone is aware of that,” said Gidley.
“When there is a real update, we’ll hear from the NRL.
“The discussions have been positive to date so we’re hopeful we can get some stability around that sooner rather than later.”