nib Newcastle Knights coach Nathan Brown sees the contest this Saturday against ladder leaders, the Melbourne Storm, as a test for his side to keep improving.
“The boys should be reasonably confident that their games are progressing,” said Brown.
“Melbourne look like they’re going to be the minor premiers so it’s a great test for us.
“While the opposition are good, we should feel as a team we are growing, particularly off the back of three wins in a row.”
The Knights coach knows the Storm is an intimidating outfit, which won’t be easy to topple.
“Everyone knows Melbourne have probably been the most consistent team for probably the past 12 or so years and it’s been built off the back of a lot of good defence,” stated Brown.
“Cameron (Smith), Cooper (Cronk) and Billy (Slater), having those three blokes in those key positions and their ability to close out games when they’re in front or their ability to come from behind if they need to.
“Those guys have been doing it for Queensland and Australia and that’s why they’re all considered top players so we should look forward to the challenge and we shouldn’t be daunted by it."
With a majority of their wins at home, Brown believes there’s added motivation to get the result this weekend.
“We have been playing reasonably well away from home without getting a win but our home form is really important to us and our home fans are really important to us,” maintained Brown.
“They have consistently turned up in some tough times so to play well at home is very important for all the guys.”
Meanwhile, the recruitment drive is still in gear with Brown confirming talks with Brisbane veteran Adam Blair.
“I can guarantee he is a player of interest and he’s certainly someone we think can help our young forwards like the Saifitis, Josh King and (Mitch) Barney,” he said.
“He's experienced, he’s a winner and knows how to prepare to win which is important."
Offers for current players are also on the table.
“We have certainly got some offers out there for a few of the younger guys,” stated Brown.
“These things are never easy, they take a little bit of time and obviously trying to find the right balance with what suits us and them and all the managers.
“We will keep working away but it would be nice if those younger local guys that want to stay can be a part of what’s starting to move in the right direction.”
The Knights take on the Storm this Saturday at McDonald Jones Stadium, kick-off is 3pm.