COACH Adam O'Brien is confident that the Knights "best footy is in front of us".
Newcastle's clunky 28-20 win over the Broncos - their second on the bounce - moved the Knights to 20 points and outside the top eight on points differential.
They meet Cronulla, Canterbury, Gold Coast and Brisbane in the final four rounds - all winnable games.
However, back-rower Lachlan Fitzgibbon is likely to be missing for some, if not all, of the run to the finals.
Fitzgibbon, back in the side after being dropped for two games, partially dislocated his troublesome right shoulder in the second half against the Broncos.
The 27-year-old, who is off contract at the end of the season, had scans on Friday and it is hoped the injury will settle down with treatment. It is the same joint he had surgically reconstructed at the end of last season.
On the plus side, hooker Jayden Brailey returns against the Sharks after being rested following a head knock in the 34-24 victory over the Raiders. Brailey had passed a head injury assessment but a four-day turnaround worked against him.
His impending inclusion follows the successful comeback of halfback Mitchell Pearce.
Sunday's battle against Cronulla will be just the second time the Knights' spine - Kalyn Ponga, Jake Clifford, Pearce and Brailey - has been complete this campaign.
"We have played with our full spine once - the other week against the Cowboys (38-0 win)," O'Brien said.
"We have a longer turnaround now thankfully. We will get rest first, but we will get our spine together and get some training in.
"Certainly having Mitchell, Kalyn, Jake Clifford now and Jayden Brailey ... I would like to think our best footy is in front of us.
"Some of teams who have had the whole complement of their list together might not have that, where as, I think we can still go that way with our footy because we are together."
Pearce, playing just his seventh game this season after battling a torn pec and hamstring issues, produced a near man-of-the-match performance.
He scored a match-turning try on the cusp of half-time, laid on another for Mitch Barnett and combined with Clifford to steer the Knights out of their end.
Clifford, more than anyone, enjoyed having Pearce back directing play.
"He is a really good player to play alongside," said the five-eighth, who joined the Knights from the Cowboys in June. "The more games that myself, KP and Junior play together, is only going to be beneficial."
Former Knights champion Andrew Johns is also looking forward to seeing more of the new halves combination together - not just in the same game.
"I want to see them play more together," Johns said analysing the win over Broncos as part the Chanel Nine coverage. "They split either side of the field ... it was a short turnaround and that sort of stuff. I thought they combined OK but they need to get a lot better.
"Moving forward, they need to play together more often."