Stone hopes Gidley can boost Knights - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Stone hopes Gidley can boost Knights

By Ian McCullough 11/04/2010 11:48:16 AM Comments (0)

Newcastle coach Rick Stone is confident the return of skipper Kurt Gidley can provide the boost the struggling Knights need to get their NRL season back on track.

The injury-hit Knights slumped to their fourth successive defeat on Saturday as South Sydney eased to a 28-10 win at Bluetongue Stadium.

Stone's miserable evening was compounded with the loss of halfback Scott Dureau (hip) in the first-half and that could see Gidley rushed back into the side for next Saturday's clash with North Queensland.

The Knights, who were also without veteran centre Adam MacDougall (broken thumb) and backrower Zeb Taia (broken ribs), were once again good in patches, but Stone said his side would continue to lose games unless they learned to play for 80 minutes.

"Scott has got a hip pointer and the referee should have looked at that incident, he was tackled in the air, but the decisions aren't going for us," Stone said.

"Injuries to key people didn't give us a massive chance, but defensively in the middle is still a big issue and if we are going to win games we have got to be better there.

"We released pressure too often in key areas through our mistakes, but we could have done with a few more breaks when it came to penalties.

"But unless we get better I don't know where we are going to be travelling in the next couple of weeks."

Gidley has not played this season after sustaining a hamstring injury in the All Stars match on the Gold Coast in February.

Stone said he had toyed with idea of restoring the NSW skipper to the side for the Souths game, but is confident he will be ready to take on the Cowboys despite only returning to full training late last week.

"Kurt will give us some drive from the back and help steer the team around and give us a little more strike," he said.

"At a pinch we could have played Kurt tonight, I would like to see him get two full weeks of intensive training before he comes back, but at this stage it looks as it he could be back to face the Cowboys."

Knights stand-in skipper Steve Simpson admitted the side was struggling with their confidence having not tasted victory since round one.

"You have got to hang in there in tough times, but we are just one win away from getting a bit of confidence," Simpson said.

"It is early on in the year, and we have just got to dig in and try and turn it around."

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