Leeds Rhinos coach Brian McDermott says his side are still aiming for a top four finish in Super League this season after insisting that, numerically, it is still doable.
The Rhinos’ season took another turn for the worse on Friday night after they were dumped out of the Challenge Cup by Huddersfield – their first defeat in the competition for three years.
They are five points adrift of the top eight, a gap that will almost certainly increase if they lose to Castleford on Thursday, but McDermott remained defiant on his side’s ambitions after the Giants loss.
“Well, numerically we can still make the top four,” he said. “That’s where we’re at. It’s a big ask but that’s what we’re going for.”
McDermott also insisted there is to questioning Leeds’ attitude or spirit, adding he has known tougher times than these in the past.
“I’ve been through far tougher periods than this,” McDermott said. “I’ve been on record for the last eight weeks saying pretty much the same thing, about some of the things that are not in our control.
“I’ve been in a position with this group where we’ve had everything available to us and we haven’t been great as a team. And they were tough moments a few years ago.