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Newcastle chief Philip Gardner says the club are backing under-fire coach Adam O’Brien to hold on and be part of the club’s long-term future.

The Knights kick off Magic Round against the Bulldogs from 6:00 PM (AEST) – this blog has you covered for all the action!

Despite starting the 2022 season with back-to-back wins, Newcastle have given up their last seven games, and it was only last week that the club managed a two-game slip without a try scored.

Part of those struggles are due to a growing injury crisis, with a host of top-17 players including Jayden Brailey, Dane Gagai and Kurt Mann, while former Kangaroos and NSW star Tyson Frizell is put on away due to illness.

Kalyn Ponga and Lachlan Fitzgibbon have also been in and out of the side due to injuries.

Despite what has gone wrong this season, Gardner has confirmed that O’Brien is still the man to take the club forward.

“There is no doubt in our mind that Adam O’Brien is the right coach for us,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald.

“I see his work ethic, how hard he works and his relationship with the players is very good. There’s no problem with that for us. I think Adam will be our head coach for a long time.”

“We hope Adam will be with us for the next 10 years,” added Gardner. “I think we have the right group of people. Our club is a team and good clubs have great teamwork.”

O’Brien is currently under contract until the end of 2024.

Gardner’s comments come after some sections of the media criticized the Newcastle manager.

Former Cronulla Sharks skipper Paul Gallen said earlier this month the pressure on O’Brien was justified.

“Fans, sponsors and people who go to the game don’t care…they show up, pay their money to see their team play and do their best,” Gallen said on Nine’s. 100% football.

“I think there will be pressure on the coach. Whether it’s fair or not, I know it’s not fair… the fact is that sponsors, people show up and pay their money They don’t care, they want to see the performance of the team.”

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