Newcastle Knights coach Wayne Bennett says the support shown by the fans means a lot to the team.

The Knights will play their first preliminary final in 12 years on Saturday night when they clash with the minor premiers, the Roosters.

The Knights head to Sydney this afternoon and winger James McManus is the only player under an injury cloud with an ongoing ankle injury.

He will be given until tomorrow to prove his fitness and will be replaced by Kevin Naiqama if he is ruled out.

Several hundred people turned out for the Knights training session yesterday and Bennett says the support does not go unnoticed.

"The fans have been great here, they've got behind the team," he said.

"Probably six weeks ago they got behind us for some big games at home here and they've just been part of the momentum now.

"They were great when we played in Sydney two weeks ago against the Bulldogs, a lot went to Melbourne last week, a great effort by them to do that.

"They've turned up in big numbers to training and they'll obviously be at the game on Saturday night as well, you can't ask for more than that."

Newcastle were beaten by the Roosters 28 points to 12 in round 20, but Bennett says the team has come a long way since then.

"We only played them the once this year, so hopefully we learn a few lessons from that, hopefully we're a better team since that day.

"We can take some confidence out of the fact that they didn't completely out play us.

"They were better than us on the day but they didn't have it all their own way."

Bennett says having players with big game experience in the team will not guarantee a win.

He has been criticised this season for having a number of players over the age of 30 in the team, including Jeremy Smith and Danny Buderus.

But he admits it's good to have experience.

"Not necessarily an advantage but it's good to have it.

"They know how to prepare properly for these games and they won't get lost in the big occasion."