Newcastle will take on the Gold Coast Titans with a virtually unchanged lineup from the side humiliated by the Wests Tigers last weekend because interim coach Kristian Woolf wants to give the players a chance to redeem themselves in front of their home fans on Old Boys' Day.
While now ex-coach Nathan Brown hinted at blooding some of the club's younger players in the final two rounds while he was still in charge, Woolf has resisted the temptation but expects a vastly different attitude from the squad against the Titans.
"I think the important thing for all of us is to move a little past last week," he said.
"There's a lot of things that went on and when things are going on at footy clubs, it tends to make people emotionally very drained and I think what you saw was a performance where blokes were mentally drained. That's not the case this week. We've all been able to get past that and what's really important is what we do next."
Defending his decision not to make changes, Woolf said: "Last week we thought it was the best team. Nothing's changed. It's the same players and they've all still got the same ability.
"Like I said, we had a lot going on last week and blokes didn't perform under those circumstances so I thought the fairest thing we can do is give those guys an opportunity to try and make up for that. I've got no doubt they will and a guy like Bradman Best, he was one of our best players last weekend.
"He ran the ball terrifically - I can't remember how many metres he ran the ball for but I know they were high and we've got a lot of confidence in him and what he is doing now as well as what he is going to do in the future. He deserved another run and he is getting another run on the back of that."
With little time to change anything in regards to the side's playing style even if he wanted to, Woolf said the important thing was the effort of the players.
"The biggest thing we can achieve this week is a performance everyone is proud of, particularly the playing group," he said. "It's obviously not what we did last week and I'm pretty sure the blokes have got a real focus on making sure that's the case this week.
"It's not about changing things, it's about trying to get us at our best and I think us at our best is good enough. I can't fault the players one bit. They have been really good. It's been a difficult situation for everyone obviously, staff and players alike. The players have handled themselves really well. As I said, I can't give them enough praise and I'd like to think it will show in our performance."
Woolf said the significance of Old Boy's Day is not lost on the playing group.
"This is the biggest day on the calendar for the club so that's not lost on the players and it carries great significance," he said. "Our blokes are proud of the history of the club and they want to be a part of that history and they want to make sure the tough culture that's been built here is carried on as well."
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