Widnes Vikings forward Tom Olbison has stressed that the Vikings players must not let off-field pressures take their toll on the club’s fight for survival.
A second straight Qualifiers defeat has left their Super League status in a more precarious position than ever, which leaves their careers and existing contracts in jeopardy.
But Olbison is in a better position than most to discuss the demands of the Qualifiers, having gone through the drama with Bradford in 2015 and the Vikings last year, and he insists the players have to retain their self-belief.
“First and foremost you’ve got to focus on your job,” he said.
“That will ultimately prevent it from getting to that stage.
“It’s not easy when jobs are on the line but you’ve got to blank it out. You’ve got to remain positive because it’s early days. There are some quality lads in this team and we all believe in each other.
“It’s not ideal, as you can imagine. When it gets to that end part and you’re in the mix the uncertainty is what it is and naturally you start thinking about your family. There’s nothing you can do about it, and every team and player deals with that.
“We’re all confident we can do the job. We all know how to play the game or we wouldn’t be here. There are some very good players. Nobody plays the game to lose and you’re disheartened with that, but you can’t go about kicking stones. You’ve got to look on and think positive.”
Meanwhile, Olbison also pleaded with supporters to get behind them, despite recognising their anger.
“I totally understand,” he said.
“They work hard all week and spend their money to come and watch their team perform. You get all that, we’re not getting results that they’re paying to come and see. I can understand that, but they need to stick with us as it will only help us come through it.”