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"He can definitely give you a spray"

"He doesn’t rant and rave, that’s not his style, but he can definitely give you a spray.”

That’s the words of Newcastle Knights captain Mitchell Pearce on coach Nathan Brown.

He’s a tough leader and a fair one.

Pearce: He's been hard on us from the start

That gets the nod from Pearce.

“He’s been hard on us from the start of the pre-season to where we are now,” explained the Knights captain.

“He’s been driving the standards as our leader.

“Sometimes it just doesn’t happen for whatever reason.

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“It’s not an excuse, it has got nothing to do with the coaching.”

Despite being under pressure the last couple of weeks, Pearce has credited Brown for his composure.

How he’s handled a barrage of criticism and his professionalism as their leading man.

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“One thing I’ve noticed about Browny is that he has thick skin and is pretty calm,” said the 30-year-old.

“To be a head coach for 20 years… how many other coaches have been in that position for that long?

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“Not too many…. so, he knows how to handle it and he’ll get us right for this weekend.”

For Pearce, he admits he’s still searching for his own best game.

He’s happy to cop the criticism.

But like many of the players, they’re doing a bit of soul searching.

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“I’m looking at myself, I’m trying to find my best form,” Pearce added.

“Each individual in the team is searching themselves to find their best form.

“It’s got nothing to do with attitude and lack of desire.

“You don’t turn into a bad footballer in one or two weeks.”