Knights coach under pressure, Adam O’Brien, sacked, press conference, Buzz Rothfield, coach fired, news, highlights, NRL 360

Knights manager Adam O’Brien has reportedly acknowledged the club’s 2022 campaign is over, putting a timeline on his own tenure as the man to lead Newcastle forward.

The Knights have struggled this season, recording just five wins in 19 games, with growing pressure on the Hunter’s men to change their fortunes.

O’Brien’s future as the club’s head coach has been firmly in the spotlight, and now the 44-year-old has admitted he could have ‘six to eight weeks’ at the start of the 2023 season to save his job.

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“I spoke to Adam O’Brien this morning, he asked me ‘how punters see it from the outside’,” Buzz Rothfield of The Daily Telegraph told NRL360.

“I said I think everyone is happy you’re safe for the rest of the year, then I said I think you have six to eight weeks at the start of next year.

“He agreed, 100% he agreed.”

But NRL360 co-host Paul Kent disagreed, wondering why the club would gamble on a manager who failed to meet expectations in 2022.

Meanwhile, Newcastle have signed Peter Parr as director of football, handing over control of the Knights’ football operations.

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Kent believes Parr will be unwilling to play at the start of next season as starting each year strong is crucial to making the top eight.

“If that’s the case I would now shorten this, Peter Parr has now joined the club, why would Newcastle take a gamble at the start of next year?” Kent asked.

“If you play the first six to eight weeks of next year, after that it’s all over.”

“What he’s saying is this season is over, what he’s saying is the patience and loyalty he expects from the board will last six to eight weeks into next year.” , said Rothfield.

NRL360 host Braith Anasta compared O’Brien’s situation to that of embattled Titans coach Justin Holbrook – who is also facing the ax after a tumultuous campaign in 2022.

Both have made the decision to get rid of experienced halfbacks in Mitchell Pearce and Jamal Fogarty, and both are paying the price.

“The start of next year is everything for both coaches,” Anasta said.

“The six weeks to start next year are going to be everything.”


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“The half-back, Mitchell Pearce, he took them to the final two years in a row and he walked,” added Rothfield.

Meanwhile, O’Brien has come under fire for referring to his resume as an assistant after the club’s poor showing against the Bulldogs.

O’Brien worked under Craig Bellamy during a successful spell for the Melbourne Storm, explaining he knows how to win premierships.

“Before I got this job here, I was in four Grand Finals,” O’Brien said.

“I know how these teams have prepared. I know the systems they used defensively.

“You don’t unlearn this knowledge. Applying and anchoring it will clearly take time.

Kent criticized O’Brien’s claims, explaining that there’s a major difference between watching someone else teach a system and implementing it on your own team.

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“If Adam O’Brien had had his chance again, he would have shut up and said nothing,” Kent said.

“And what he said there is irrelevant because it doesn’t matter if you saw him… you have to start being the head coach and making decisions.

“There’s a big difference between being the assistant and the head coach, knowing what it looks like doesn’t mean you can teach it.

“Everyone is watching what everyone else is doing, okay, we’ll start coaching that.

“We talked about it earlier in the year when Trent Barrett was trying to incorporate Penrith’s attacking style at Canterbury.

“It’s two different playgroups and sometimes you can’t just sit down and teach four unit math to a fifth grader, you have to go through the steps to get there.”

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