Mitch Pearce isn't going as far as to greet his Newcastle teammates with a friendly namaste at training but the former NSW halfback says a Knights side at peace with its own identity is finally beginning to realise its potential.
Tipped as a top four side to start the year, the Knights battled to a 1-4 start from the opening five rounds of the season but a three-game winning streak leading into Sunday's clash with the St George Illawarra Dragons at Mudgee has Pearce's Newcastle boys on the cusp of the top eight.
There's no fear of performing poorly, like they did on occasion during a four-game losing streak, no more stop-start, disjointed football either.
Pearce says that early season trepidation has been replaced with a team working hard as a unit, one comfortable with its "new identity".
It doesn't guarantee a win every week but if we've got that identity and we play a similar style of footy every week it keeps you in the contest.Mitch Pearce on the Knights finding an identity throughout their three-game winning streak.
"We're in a good place as a team. We're working hard to create that winning feeling," the Knights skipper said.
"Browny says we give ourselves every chance if we have an identity. It doesn't guarantee a win every week but if we've got that identity and we play a similar style of footy every week it keeps you in the contest."
Pearce says its up to the Knights to "keep delivering now".
Newcastle travels to Mudgee for their round 10 clash with the Dragons fresh off a 22-10 victory over the Bulldogs in last week's Magic Round at Brisbane.
It followed a 36-18 win over New Zealand and a 28-14 victory over Parramatta in the weeks prior, ensuring the Novocastrians trek west full of confidence.
It's belief, Pearce says, the Knights have had all season.
"I felt like we showed glimpses in every game even when we were losing," he said.
"In games we were losing there was still some good things we were doing well, we just had to recreate those. We knew wins would come if we could do it for 80 minutes."
The Knights named an unchanged line-up to the one that took care of business against Canterbury last week, with Kalyn Ponga named at fullback again.
He started the year at five-eighth but has made a successful switch back to the No.1 jumper, with Dubbo-born utility Connor Watson slotting back into the halves.
Kick-off is at 2pm on Sunday at Glen Willow.
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