Former St George Illawarra Dragons coach and current NSW Blues assistant Paul McGregor has joined Michael Maguire in being linked to the Newcastle Knights.

The Knights are yet to indicate any decision on the future of Adam O'Brien, however, following the recent axings of both Anthony Griffin at the Dragons and Justin Holbrook at the Gold Coast Titans, there is little dispute that he is now the most under pressure in the game.

O'Brien has been head coach at the Knights since the 2020 season when he left his role as a Sydney Roosters' assistant coach but has failed to bring success to the Hunter.

The club made the opening week of the finals in both 2020 and 2021 after a pair of seventh-placed finished but finished the 2022 campaign going backward with just 6 wins from 18 games.

The club's attack has been woeful for much of O'Brien's tenure at the club, and it's believed the Knights board has been growing impatient with the failure to succeed for a passionate fan base.

The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting that McGregor is in the mix to take over if the club decides to move on O'Brien.

The former centre, who coached the Dragons from 2014 until 2020 without incredible success, has a close relationship with Peter Parr and is currently part of Brad Fittler's staff with the NSW Blues.

While Mcgregor is one option for the Knights, it's believed former premiership-winning coach Michael Maguire, whose last stint at the Wests Tigers ended in tears, could be a key option for the club.

Multiple reports in recent times have suggested the Knights may pursue Maguire. He is currently part of Ricky Stuart's coaching staff at the Canberra Raiders.

The Knights ultimately sit in 14th place on the table this season with just 5 wins from their 15 games, and that didn't improve on Saturday night with a difficult loss to the Penrith Panthers, who had rested all of their State of Origin players.

O'Brien said there was no easy fix at the Knights after Saturday's game, but with the clock seemingly ticking, he needs to find one in a hurry.

"If there was an easy fix, I certainly would have fixed it," he said.

"Some weeks we're coming up short with the ball, and I felt like tonight we lacked going to a plan B.

"We just kept throwing the same sort of shift and shape at them, and they handled it.

"Being able to transition into a different style, or jump off script a bit, is certainly an area where we can improve. But in saying that, our attack has been fairly good this year.

"There is no one thing.

"It seems to be we plug a hole there, and another leak sprouts the next week.

"We've just got to keep looking at our game and how we can improve it."