Betts backs Widnes to respond to big derby occasion on Thursday

Widnes Vikings coach Denis Betts has backed his side to rise to the occasion of their huge Cheshire derby against neighbours Warrington on Thursday night.

The Vikings are not just playing for local pride tonight – but they are also playing to ensure they move off the foot of the table, with victory over the Wolves guaranteeing they move ahead of their local rivals in the standings.

And Betts says that after defeat to Wakefield last Friday, he believes his side will respond in the right manner.

“It’s going to be a great occasion,” Betts said. “We’ll have a big crowd, there will be an atmosphere and I have no doubt we will see a response.

“We’re just lacking confidence at the moment. We’re frightened of expressing ourselves and it’s hard to overcome. You just have to go out and be willing to push yourself a bit harder.”

Betts also remains confident that his side can drag themselves out of trouble: citing the example of Wakefield last season as an inspiration to his troops.

Trinity started the season slowly before rallying under coach Chris Chester to finish in the top eight.

“Gerrard and Mellor both came through okay and for the first time this year we didn’t have anybody knocked out,” Betts said.

“For us to get better, our better players coming back from injury need to play week in, week out. They’ve all been massive injuries and we’ll probably have to suffer a bit of pain to get them up to speed.

“But Wakefield showed last year that, once you get a couple of wins, you can get on a roll.”