Leigh interim coach Kurt Haggerty aims to turn the negative of successive Super League postponements into a positive as he prepares his basement dwellers for two crunch clashes in the space of four days.
The Centurions, who have lost all twelve top-flight matches since their elevation from the Championship through an application process, host Castleford on Wednesday before visiting neighbours Wigan on Sunday.
The call-off of games at Hull and at home to Warrington, in both cases because of Covid issues in the opposition camp, means Haggerty’s charges haven’t played since losing 48-18 at Leeds on July 1 in what was the fifth match since the departure of John Duffy.
Former assistant coach Haggerty who, despite the pressure of trying to lead Leigh to against-the-odds survival in Super League, says he is “loving” his current role, admitted: “We need to be playing games if we are to get the wins we need to stay up.
“But the Covid situation is tough for all coaches to deal with. No club is immune from problems and we have had our own issues to deal with. All we can do is take as many measures as possible to minimise the risk, but it’s very difficult.
“Hopefully we avoid anything major going forward, and two good things about the time we have had without playing is that some players have had a chance to recover from injuries and niggles, while we’ve been able to put on some more intense training sessions.
“With games coming thick and fast, it’s all about preparing for the next match, but with the call-offs, I’ve had the chance to get my message across about how I want us to approach the rest of the season, and I can see the penny is beginning to drop.
“We know we have a tough task to catch up with the rest, but I’m loving being a head coach in a full-time environment, and I really couldn’t ask for anything more from the players in terms of effort and commitment.”
While Haggerty hopes props Adam Sidlow and Ben Flower will be fit to face Castleford, he revealed fullback Ryan Brierley faces a further spell out because of an injury sustained against Leeds, which required surgery to repair a torn eyelid.
“Ryan has had some problems with blurred vision, which the specialist is looking at and treating,” he explained.
“It’s just not something you can take any risks with, and he’s not been training.”
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