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Tinkler's abusive texts 'friendly banter'

Canberra Times logo Canberra Times 26/05/2014 Canberra Times

Newcastle star Jarrod Mullen has dismissed reports of former owner Nathan Tinkler bombarding him with abusive texts as "friendly banter".

Tinkler's controversial three year association with the NRL club ended on Friday, amid claims a number of Knights players were the subject of messages branding them "soft", accusing the club of having "no heart" and insinuating they would be traded.

But on Monday Mullen claimed it was just a bit of fun.

"It was laughable I suppose," he told reporters at training.

"It was all a bit of friendly banter, there was nothing coming from me.

"I'm not sure what the hype was all about, I don't read the papers.

"There was a little bit made of it but nothing from my part.

"Everyone receives texts from him, there is a bit of friendly banter now and then, nothing to it at all."

Mullen said it was a tough time for the club, but the Knights have been through worse.

"It's obviously sad for the club, because Nathan has put a lot of money into the club and it's disappointing," Mullen told reporters at training on Monday.

"But it's business as usual for us and we've just got to worry about our football and get back to winning games.

"Once all this stuff gets sorted out, I'm sure the club is going to be in a better position for it.

"Hopefully we can sort it out sooner rather than later and everyone can start worrying about football then.

"We've got a job to do over in Auckland this week and we need to get our season kick-started quick smart.

"We haven't talked about it (Tinkler's exit) at training at all to be honest.

"This is the first day we've come in and it was a bit of a day to get a smile on everyone's face again and just run around and get the footy in everyone's hands."

Newcastle have won just two of 10 games this season and enjoyed the bye last weekend.

They face a difficult away assignment against the in-form Warriors in Auckland on Sunday.

"We've been through a lot worse than this," Mullen said.

"When I first came here, we lost 13 in a row and that was back in 2005.

"The club is definitely in a better position now.

"We've got great facilities here, a great coach and great players.

"So we just need to get the performances on the field now."

Meanwhile Knights forward Adam Cuthbertson has announced he will join Super League leaders Leeds on a four-year deal ahead of the 2015 season.

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