Wakefield assistant Michael Monaghan has called for calm ahead of Friday’s huge trip to Widnes – saying there is no cause for panic just yet.
Trinity have won just two of their last ten league games, and know that if they slip to defeat on Friday at Widnes, they will be dragged into what is currently a five-team battle to avoid the four spots for the Qualifiers later this year.
Win, however, and there is significant breathing space between Trinity and the bottom four – and Monaghan admits there is simply no need to panic at present.
“There’s two ways to look at it; we still play Huddersfield, Widnes twice and Catalans – so you see them as opportunities to get a run going,” he said. “But by the same token, if you lose the games to the teams behind you, it’s quite easy to be dragged in. We’re not desperate for a win at the moment, let’s be clear about that, but we’ve got some urgency about finding our form at the moment.
“We’re still looking at the teams in front of us thinking we can catch them. We’ve got the teams in that top six still to play mostly at home, so there are opportunities in that regard. But irrespective of that, we have to start getting some things right to make sure we give ourselves chances in games.”
Monaghan did concede that, after another frustrating performance last weekend – they were beaten by Huddersfield at Magic Weekend – it is vital an improvement in Wakefield is discovered sooner, rather than later.
He said: “Too often we’ve come in on a Monday and touched on negatives; we need to start fixing up some of those things which are costing us games. There’s a lot of good stuff, but there’s a handful of key plays which are resulting in us being on the wrong end of the scoreline.”
And Monaghan has been impressed by what he has seen of Friday’s opponents, despite their own recent wretched form.
“I think they were really unlucky in that game (at Magic Weekend versus St Helens),” he said.
“St Helens had two tries which were a bit dubious and in the last four weeks, we’ve watched plenty of them. They’ve been the better team in most of their recent games, and we know they’re going to be seeing it as a four-pointer, knowing if they win it, they get closer to us and the top eight.”
Matty Ashurst has been given a week to rest up having featured in every game this season, while Ryan Hampshire will revert to half-back in the absence of Liam Finn. He will partner Jacob Miller.