NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 29: Mitchell Pearce of the Newcastle Knights looks to pass the ball during the round 15 NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and the Brisbane Broncos at McDonald Jones Stadium on June 29, 2019 in Newcastle, Australia. (Photo by Tony Feder/Getty Images)

Newcastle captain Mitchell Pearce has a point to prove in 2021, not just to his current club, but to himself.

On Thursday, Pearce remain committed to the Knights after being linked to a move back to the Sydney Roosters, a place he called home for 11 seasons.

Pearce, who is out of contract at the end of 2021, has focused on getting himself and his Newcastle team mates get back into premiership contention.

“My focus is just on setting the example at training over the next two weeks, and I’m sure all that stuff will work itself out,” he told the media on Thursday.

“I love the club here, I’m contracted for this year, and I’ll be doing everything I can to get us that premiership.”

The Knights ended the 2020 season eliminated in the first week of the finals, with the focus on improving even further.

For the Knights to do better next season, Pearce knows that he has got to up his game to another level, something he feels he can thrive on.

“I love having big goals and setting big goals. It makes me motivated, even as a group… the higher you set the bar, the better you will play,” he said.

“I hope it is career defining because if we can get what we are out to achieve, then it will definitely be career defining.”