Pearce: Roosters didn’t believe I could deliver a comp
NEWCASTLE signing Mitchell Pearce has spoken about his exit from the Sydney Roosters and the reasons why they decided to bring in Cooper Cronk.
As Pearce gears up to help the Knights shake off three consecutive wooden spoons, the star halfback admitted the Tricolours no longer believed he alone could deliver them another premiership title.
"There's no doubt that was the way they saw it," Pearce admitted to Channel Nine at the NRL season launch on Thursday.
"I didn't take it personally.
"There's always different reasons why you don't win the comp and I didn't lose any confidence out of that."
Pearce said he couldn't begrudge Cronk for coming in and taking his No.7 jumper at the Roosters.
"Cooper can pick wherever he wants to go," Pearce said.
"He's the best halfback in the game and he's had an unbelievable career.
"So he can pick wherever he wants to go and a club like the Roosters who is a big hitter and renown for going for the best, I can see why they went for Cooper.
"I'm onto a new path. I hope I can play better than him at Newcastle, but off the field I've got total respect for Cooper."
Pearce said he didn't feel any pressure to try and emulate the Knights' last great halfback in Andrew Johns.
"It doesn't even enter my mind, the comparisons," he said.
"Andrew Johns is the greatest player of all time.
"I guess the club has been crying out for some consistency in that area.
"It's my job to hopefully improve the culture and improve the team over the next few years.
"There will never be another Joey."