'I was worrying too much about the side'

Mitchell Pearce is focused.

By his own admission, the nib Newcastle Knights captain had a slow start to the season but has found his groove and ready to fire.

Reflecting on the opening seven weeks of 2019, Pearce admits he got a little caught up in worrying about the team and that took away from his own game.

As the captain, Pearce will always attract attention but he has a leadership group to support him.

New recruit Tim Glasby has played a big part in helping Pearce carry the load and a player the captain has been able to lean on.

Ramien rubbishes claims he's unhappy at Knights

“Timmy has been great,” he said.

“Being captain, you learn things every day. At the start of the year, with a new side I was maybe worrying too much about the side and probably sacrificed my own running game a little bit.

“As a captain, I know what my own strengths are. I’ve got to keep leading as well as I can and doing my part there. My goal this to be the best captain I can be.

“I’ve got great support around, obviously with (Shaun Kenny-Dowall) Skidzy, Timmy and Klem (David Klemmer) there. Plenty of different personalities and different characters. A big mention to Tim Glasby, he’s been huge for leadership.”

Ultimate Guide: On the road to New Zealand

Glasby joined the Knights from the Storm in the off-season on a three-year-deal.

Part of Glasby’s appeal, aside from his experience and work ethic is his leadership qualities.

A member of the Knights’ leadership group, having the lock at the Club has been a big help for Pearce.

“We are completely different personalities,” Pearce said.

“He’s come from a really good system. He’s a winner. Player with some quality players. He’s a pretty straight down the line guy. He’s brought a lot to the group.

“… we’ve got a strong leadership group. If we can keep improving as leaders, we’re going to be a better club and a better team.”

Riding the high of an impressive 28-14 victory over Parramatta last week, the game saw several players raise the bar.

While Pearce had a blinder, Danny Levi was another who impressed.

The hooker was close to best on ground and Pearce believes the best is yet to come for the No.9.

“Danny’s got all the skills in the world,” Pearce said.

“He’s a really talented player. He’s still only young. I think when you’re a young team, as much as we have some experience this year, there’s still plenty of players that are in their early years of first grade, it’s about your preparation and playing consistent.

“For Danny, he knows what to do. It’s about us as a whole group, taking the right attitude this week to New Zealand.”