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The Dyldam Parramatta Eels take on the Newcastle Knights tonight at Hunter Stadium for Round 12 of the NRL Telstra Premiership.

Previwing the game thanks to, Blue and Gold Assistant Coach Pete Gentle says the Eels will need to improve in their defensive performance after going down to the Melbourne Storm last week.

"Our defence we need to improve," Gentle said.

"We created enough changes with the ball, we got over the line four or five times, but Melbourne's scramble defence was top shelf. Our defence, we need to work a little bit harder there, we only gave them a few chances but they took them and that was the difference really."

Coming up against a desperate Knights side, looking for their second victory of the season, Gentle expects a tough enounter in Newcastle.

"They get good support up there. Complacency won't play a part, we have trained very hard and coming off two losses, everything will be going into winning this game tonight," Gentle said.

"Everyone knows what they are going through, a rebuilding phase, but with those young fellas comes a lot of enthusiasm. We have a couple of them coming through our squad too which will give us plenty of enthusiasm too, but you can't underestimate them." Gentle said.

"You can't look at what has happened last week, or the last 6-8 weeks, everything is about what happens this week and what we are going to do this week."

With Junior Paulo replaced by Daniel Alvaro, Gentle says the young forward will bring plenty to the Blue and Gold line up.

"Daniel is one of the young blokes that comes in and brings that enthusiasm and energry, and it's great to see him get another opportunity," Gentle said.

"He has never let us down and we know what we are going to get from him."

The Eels kick off against the Newcastle Knights at 7pm.

Acknowledgement of Country

Parramatta Eels respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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