AAP Rugby

Brown made decision ‘easy’ for the Knights

By AAP Newswire

Nathan Brown concedes he made a difficult decision easy for Newcastle management when he quit as Knights coach from the end of this NRL season.

Still in contention to make the finals this year, Brown insisted his decision was about the long-term stability of a Knights side he sees as premiership ready.

Handed the club when it was at its lowest ebb in late 2015, Brown took the Knights from perennial wooden spooners to one of the game's best rosters.

But he revealed he'd been considering quitting since midway through the year, after realising he wasn't the man to take the club forward.

"I made a hard decision very easy for the boss. I knew the time was right, he knew the time was right," Brown said.

"This is about stability for the Knights and the people of Newcastle. They deserve a footy team that is going to play in grand finals."

Brown's job security has often been raised in 2019, given two long losing streaks have been punctuated by a mid-season run of six straight wins for his self-made supercharged roster.

Brown said he had no regrets over publicly admitting he had made mistakes during this campaign when he was interviewed last week.

"We had a couple of close losses (in the recent losing streak) and I just had a feeling this time was coming," Brown said.

"You can't go on ifs and buts in this business. We're in a business of winning.

"When you play a good brand of footy and then you start losing, you've got to start thinking about things.

"When I first came to the club, I said to my wife we will run last for the first two years and the reality of it is the fairytale won't be me."

Brown listed his determination to eliminate a drinking culture at Newcastle as his greatest achievement at the Knights, after he claimed alcohol had ruined players' careers.

Newcastle players stood by Brown on Wednesday, as they insisted there had been no dressing room revolt against him.

Meanwhile, Knights boss Phil Gardner said he believed the club needed a new voice in their pursuit of their first title since 2001.

"This whole thing around coaching is there's a time. The club gets to a certain stage and we're on this evolution," Gardner said.

"Nathan will always be revered for what he has done for us.

"In any organisation your voice becomes very consistent so sometimes you need a new voice. We obviously want to win a comp for the town.

"We need new voices in the club to get us there. Sometimes it can be that simple."