A blunt Newcastle skipper Mitchell Pearce has castigated himself and his teammates for letting down coach Nathan Brown, saying they needed to be held accountable for their horror showing on the weekend.
The Knights' 46-4 capitulation against Wests Tigers has caused ructions with Brown understood to have offered his immediate resignation - a proposition which was knocked back by Knights management.
Knights CEO Phil Gardner did not return calls on Monday.
Their humiliation against the Tigers came just four days after the coach announced his end-of-season departure amid speculation the club had already begun sounding out replacements.
Sydney Roosters assistant Adam O'Brien is expected to be announced as Brown's successor in the coming days.
It was the Knights' worst defeat of 2019 despite being in finals contention, leaving them 11th on the ladder and prompting a stinging rebuke of management by club great Andrew Johns.
Brown now looks set to oversee the Knights' final two games of the season against the Gold Coast and Penrith.
And Pearce argued the Knights players needed to shoulder the blame for the loss and stand up for Brown.
"We really let our coach down, let our fans down and as a team it's unacceptable," Pearce said on Monday.
"All the criticism that's coming is warranted. There's no excuse from our end with the week leading into it.
"It had nothing to do with the coach. We need to keep each other accountable. We let our mates down."
The Knights are now tasked with regaining some pride in front of some of their club greats when they play the last-placed Titans during Saturday's old boys' day celebrations.
The occasion to honour past greats has become a tradition in the Hunter and is held during the club's final home game of the year.
"It's going to be a massive day," Pearce said.
"All I can say as captain is I wasn't good enough on the weekend, as a team we weren't good enough.
"We're all responsible. It's an emotional time, a lot of guys would be hurting.
"I let the boys down on the weekend. I need to take responsibility for that and lead from the front. As a group we let each other down."