KNIGHTS coach Adam O'Brien is confident Bradman Best can have an immediate impact when he returns from ankle surgery in tonight's crucial clash with Gold Coast at CBus Super Stadium.
Best hasn't played since suffering a syndesmosis injury in Newcastle's 26-16 loss to Melbourne on August 2, but the 19-year-old dynamo has been back in training for several weeks and O'Brien has eagerly reinstated him.
It's the second time this year Best has been sidelined through injury.
When he returned against Penrith in round three - his first game in eight months - the 2018 Australian Schoolboys representative didn't bother easing back into action, scoring two sensational tries in a 14-all draw.
A similarly dominant display against the Titans would not surprise his coach.
"I think that's Bradman," O'Brien said.
"That's his nature. He's like that at training.
"He's like that when he walks though the joint to go to meetings.
"He's focused and determined, so that's what I'm looking forward to seeing tomorrow."
O'Brien admitted Newcastle had "missed" Best, who has scored seven tries in nine games this season.
"He certainly gives the team some confidence when you've got him out wide," O'Brien said.
"As the boys call him, he's a beast.
"We're really fortunate. He's worked really hard to get back and I'm looking forward to seeing him perform."
O'Brien was in relaxed mood on the eve of Newcastle's biggest game for years.
Newcastle are already guaranteed a top-eight position, for the first time since 2013, but a win against the Titans would ensure they finish sixth and host South Sydney in week one of the play-offs.
Should the Knights lose and Souths beat the Roosters later on Friday, the Rabbitohs would leapfrog Newcastle and claim home-ground advantage in their do-or-die final.
O'Brien said his players were looking no further than their clash with the in-form Titans, who have won their past four games.
"We look too far ahead, we run into the car in front of us," he said.
"We've got to get us right and it starts with the Titans."
O'Brien's message to his players this week has been to "do all the little things at a consistently high level."
"All I can go on is how we prepare ... I've got to have confidence in how they've prepared," he said.
"They understand that you want to be going into the back end of the season with momentum, and that starts tomorrow. There's enough reasons for us to play well tomorrow."
O'Brien said the Titans were "playing a good brand of footy".
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