Newcastle Knights coach Adam O'Brien wants it known he is no "ego-maniac", apologising for comments he made about being involved in "four grand finals" on Sunday.
The embattled third-year mentor fronted the media on Tuesday hoping to clarify what he said after Sunday's 24-10 loss to Canterbury.
Clearly feeling the pressure after his side's fourth consecutive defeat, O'Brien answered a relatively trivial question with a detailed response that referenced his involvement in four grand finals as an assistant coach.
"The press conference after the game, I'd like to have it back," O'Brien said on Tuesday.
"I clearly didn't articulate the message that I tried to get across. I apologise for that.
"It looks like I'm an ego-maniac - that wasn't my message.
"I was trying to talk to the supporter that sits on the hill that must be wondering at times, do they practise defence? Do they do tackle-technique at training? Are they fit? Are they tough?
"Some of the performances, I can clearly get why they would ask that.
"I was trying to talk to them to say the boys are training at a really high standard, in terms of what I've witnessed at successful clubs.
"The field session, what I've been a part of down there with Craig [Bellamy] at Melbourne, very, very similar sessions [with] the same intensity.
"[Performance manager] Hayden [Knowles] coming from Penrith last year and winning a competition, the fitness program here - the boys are training to that.
"I'm trying to give hope to the people on the hill that we are training at a high level.
"Is that translating to the field? No it's not.
"And that responsibility is squarely on me."
O'Brien has come under more intense scrutiny after his side lost to the similarly placed Bulldogs and the pressure only looks set to intensify should the Knights lose to Wests Tigers on Sunday.
Newcastle would fall to 15th on the ladder if they fail to claim victory.
His position has been assured by Knights CEO Phil Gardner as safe in recent weeks.
More to come.