Knights coach Adam O'Brien has warned his players they are not going as well as they might think they are heading into today's hit-and-run mission in Townsville against the struggling North Queensland Cowboys.
The Cowboys have conceded 99 points in their past three games including 34 in the space of 36 minutes in the first half against the Wests Tigers last weekend and it's getting to the desperation point in their season.
But while conceding the opposition has plenty of reasons to play well in front of their home fans, O'Brien is more focused on his own side and what they need to do to get better week to week.
"The thing that I've spoken about since the Melbourne game is we need to get us right every week and not be too concerned with the opposition,"O'Brien said.
"We had a pretty honest video session earlier this week. We are going well, I don't want to take that away from the team, but we are not going as well as we might think. There are lots of areas for us to improve and it's important that we do that this week because of who we're playing."
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The Knights, who will charter a flight to and from Townsville today for the 3 pm clash, are expected to go into the game with an unchanged 17-man lineup from the squad announced earlier in the week.
The only change from the team that accounted for the Brisbane Broncos at Gosford is the loss of centre Bradman Best after he was stood down for inadvertently breaking bio-security protocols.
Former Cowboys outside back Enari Tuala returns to the side in Best's place to take on his former club.
O'Brien acknowledges his side is wary of the potential influence of Cowboys big man Jason Taumalolo, one of the game's best forwards if not the best.
"We've spoken about him, we've shown vision, he's a hell of a player," O'Brien said.
"You are not going to stop him carrying the ball. He's going to carry the footy a lot and how we handle him defensively - we've got some responsibilities and onus on some individuals there.
"You just have to do your best to manage him because he's not going to stop coming at us.
"Off the back of him, you are throwing in some dangerous footballers. Young [Reece] Robson runs the ball well out of dummy half and [Scott] Drinkwater's proven to be an excellent buy for them up there. He's dangerous with the ball in his hands."
O'Brien also saw enough in the Cowboys' second half effort against the Tigers to realise what they are capable of.
"The second half of their game last week was impressive," he said. "The team we are playing will throw a lot of football at us, especially mid-field.
"They have a lot of plays that they like to use so we understand what's coming and have prepared for it."
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