Knights skipper Mitchell Pearce has brushed off suggestions he is being hampered by a knee injury and says he takes full responsibility for a "disgraceful" kicking game and the poor end to attacking sets in the loss to the Bulldogs.
Pearce came under fire from Knights fans in the aftermath of Sunday's 18-12 loss to the Dogs but was offering no excuses for his own game or the overall performance of the team.
Like his coach Adam O'Brien, the Knights playmaker said the club's fans deserved better.
"There is a sense of embarrassment after a performance like that," he said.
"It was really dark in the sheds after the game to be honest with you. It was a wet night, a couple of really bad injuries and a performance that was well below par.
"This year, it's happened twice, the Cowboys game and the Dogs, probably two games where we were favourites going into the game. There's a thing there where we really need to tightened the hatches around our mindset going into these performances.
"Week to week, we've struggled with getting consistency and as a leader, I'll take a fair bit of responsibility for that. As a whole group, we need to look at ourselves and really knuckle down over this next month."
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Pearce said season-ending injuries to Andrew McCullough and Connor Watson weren't excuses for the way the side played.
"We still had our opportunities there to get back even," he said.
"We made it very hard for ourselves early in the game. Our completion rate was disgraceful, the kick finishes and errors were disgraceful.
"The Bulldogs came up with one of their best performances of the year in the wet. They completed at 90 percent so full credit to them, they turned up and played the conditions better than us."
O'Brien took aim his players' "sense of entitlement" in the media after the game, which Pearce believes relates to the squad's poor mindset.
"I think what Ads was getting at and what he meant in our review after the game was in our mindset going into the game and a few things maybe around training that we need to tighten up," he said.
"The inconsistency comes from somewhere - the way you train and the way your mindset is day in, day out leads onto the field and at the moment, we are showing some inconsistencies with performances.
"That's pretty much what he was getting at. We need to tighten some screws around training and become more professional day in, day out."
Asked specifically about his own kicking game, Pearce took the criticism on the chin.
"The kicking wasn't up to standard and I'll take responsibility for that," he said.
"There are no excuses there. There were some really poor finishes to our sets and three that really stand out in my mind.
"It's something that I'll be working overtime on this week and as a whole, if you are completing at a low percentage and not kicking well as a group on the end of your sets, it puts your forwards under a lot of pressure.
"Our forwards are working their backsides off and we let our middles down on the weekend."
Pearce will play his 50th NRL game for the Knights against Melbourne on Sunday and knows his side faces a huge challenge.
"Everyone knows what the Storm brings every week," he said.
"We played them a few weeks ago and it was probably one of the toughest games we've played all year. We'll get our review done today and get ready to take on the Storm this week."