CO-captain Daniel Saifiti has no doubt the Newcastle Knights are "still a good team" but admits they need to start showing it against equally embattled Canberra in Wagga Wagga on Saturday.
The Knights and the Raiders have been arguably the NRL's biggest under-achievers this season, each losing five of the past six games as concerns mount about their prospects of reaching the finals.
Saturday's high-stakes showdown shapes as potentially the crossroads in the season for each side, and Saifiti declared whoever was the most desperate was likely to bank two much-needed competition points.
"On paper, we're both good teams," Saifiti told the Newcastle Herald.
"I just think that mentally probably both teams aren't there at the moment.
"We're down a bit on confidence and probably still finding our way, eight rounds in. It's going to a big game for both teams."
Saifiti remains optimistic that "things can turn quickly" and the Knights were more than capable of salvaging their season before it is beyond repair.
"We're still a good team, but we just can't afford to be having off games, or even off training sessions," he said.
"We've just to to be more consistent. We've got the players there.
"We've got no excuses about our roster.
"We're all good players and I think that's what is the most disappointing thing.
"Hopefully once we get one win, we can get on a roll. We've got such a good team, I think we'll be hard to stop."
With three wins apiece from eight games, the Raiders (ninth) and Knights (11th) are equal with eighth-placed Gold Coast on the points table.
Saifiti admitted the Knights had "lost our mojo a little bit", but he saw no point worrying about the points table a third of the way into the season.
"It's too early to be even thinking about the finals," he said. "We've just got to take it week by week.
"The finals are still so far away. We're not even halfway into the season.
"We've got to simplify it and just it take it session by session and just take confidence in our process and preparation.
"That's what the good teams do."
Saifiti said teamwork and collective effort would be key to turning Newcastle's form around.
"Everyone's playing selfish," he said. "That's one to 17.
"The only way we can turn it around is to have a good look in the mirror, and I know that's what I'll be doing.
"I think we'll be doing a lot of review of where we went wrong [against the Roosters], because we need to get back to playing to our strengths."
Knights coach Adam O'Brien has warned his players that the Raiders will "turn up ready to go".
"Ricky will be preparing them really well," O'Brien said. "And they've had some recent success, so they'll have that hunger there, and that's the thing I've got to find with our side."
O'Brien will today name his replacement for injured playmaker Blake Green. Phoenix Crossland and Tex Hoy are the likely candidates, although moving Kalyn Ponga to the halves might be an option.