Brown experienced in saving Knights

Newcastle coach Nathan Brown is adamant the Knights can fix their poor start to the NRL season.
Newcastle coach Nathan Brown is adamant the Knights can fix their poor start to the NRL season.

Under-pressure Newcastle coach Nathan Brown insists history shows he can dig the Knights out of their early-season hole.

In his fourth year at the NRL club, Brown has been given the time to rebuild the team from the ground up.

But he now has his own roster and with that, he knows comes expectations well above the 1-5 start they've produced.

The Knights were gutsy in their single-point losses to Penrith, Canberra and St George Illawarra, and Brown on Tuesday said that shown they were a "far better" team than last year.

But he lamented their lack of energy early against Manly in round five before a failure from some to compete in their flogging by the Gold Coast on Sunday.

"I'm very experienced at coaching now, I've been doing it for a long time," Brown told reporters on Tuesday.

"I've been 1-5 with the Dragons and finished equal first, I've lost five on the bounce at St Helens (in the English Super League) and gone on to win the grand final."

Brown pointed at the criticism of Canberra's Ricky Stuart and Parramatta's Brad Arthur last season as evidence that life is never as perilous as it seems for first grade coaches.

"Now Stick (Ricky Stuart) is running first and Brad (Arthur) is somewhere near first," he said.

But his situation is more tenuous than others, given his performance-based open-ended deal.

What the noticeably calm Brown won't do though, is blast his players. Nor will he make wholesale changes for the sake of it.

"Two of our most successful (coaches) in Wayne Bennett and Jack Gibson never raised their voice," Brown said.

"Carlo Ancelotti - one of the greatest soccer coaches of the past 20 years in Europe - treats people like human beings."

He also denied there were issues of a party culture at the Knights, pointing to the heavy punishments handed out to Jacob Saifiti and Tautau Moga following off-field incidents over summer.

"If you'd said that to me three years ago I would've thought it was hard to argue," he admitted.

"Last year I saw a significant improvement in that area.

"And this year again with Klem (David Klemmer) and Glas (Tim Glasby) - good hard professionals who know how to prepare - arriving, it's as tame of a group as I have coached."

Brown's next few weeks will be crucial, with the Knights set to play Parramatta, the Warriors and Canterbury.

"We had plenty of nearly-wins from competing early in the year ... Roughly the same group of players did that," Brown said.

Australian Associated Press