Newcastle Knights coach Adam O’Brien poured cold water on Cameron Ciraldo’s suggestion that he was coming to work, saying Penrith’s assistant had called him in person to tell him it was nonsense.
“I didn’t know it, but Cameron, who he was, was the first to call and [we] There was a smile, “O’Brien told reporters Wednesday.
The 37-year-old has spent four of his nine seasons at Newcastle’s NRL, making 43 appearances for the club before finishing at Penrith and leaving his coaching staff shortly after retiring.
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O’Brien revealed that he had previously tried to fold a highly respected Panther assistant into his back room.
“She likes the place. A few years ago I almost came to her as an assistant. She was everything, but there’s no truth in her ending,” he said.
“He’s a good man, Ciro. [I’ve] He has a good relationship and we talk a lot – he was the first to call me this morning. “
Although it is an extension of O’Brien’s condition at the club to be considered ‘hateful’, he acknowledged that a change of fortunes would be needed soon.
“At the end of the day, our stair position will confirm some people’s opinions,” he said.
“Whether they’re realistic or not, I don’t really want to talk about it. I just think about preparing the team today for the weekend results.”
It will be the Ciraldo Panthers who will travel to Newcastle on Sunday afternoon, which O’Brien admits will be a “huge challenge” – with or without Penrith’s key players.
“Seeing them last week without their topliner, they stay the same,” he said.
“It’s really the next person. They don’t change.”
O’Brien has so far said that Newcastle, who have won just two of their last ten games, were “feeling the pressure” – but made a bold claim in the second half of the season.
“There were parts of our game that were really, really strong and there were parts that were really frustrating,” he said.
“If we can stick to the strong parts and focus on a few areas, I’m confident, with some staff and some experience coming back, the finals are still within our reach.”
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