Warrington have motivation aplenty for Qualifiers, says CEO Karl Fitzpatrick

Warrington fans – there will be a full, exclusive interview with CEO Karl Fitzpatrick in Monday’s paper, discussing a number of on-field and off-field issues. To open your digital subscription and have the paper delivered to your smart device as soon as it’s released, click here.

Warrington have all the motivation they need ahead of their Qualifiers campaign getting underway against Widnes tonight, insists CEO Karl Fitzpatrick.

The Wolves are one of only a handful of clubs never to be relegated from rugby league’s top-tier but, they could now be just seven games away from realising that fate – or battling for survival in the sudden-death Million Pound Game.

It is a remarkable fall from grace for a club who were Challenge Cup and Grand Finalists 12 months ago, but Fitzpatrick says the determination not to become the first Warrington squad ever to be relegated is motivation enough for the players – admitting a fast start could be pivotal.

“The motivation is simple,” he said. “No team in Warrington’s history has ever been relegated and having that over our heads is not nice.

“We’re aware it’s going to be difficult because we’ll be the prized scalp for the Championship teams but we want to get it put to bed early. How you start is critical in these Qualifiers.”

The Wolves will be looking to follow in the footsteps of 2015 champions, who found themselves in the Qualifiers the following season too before storming through to safety and returning to the sport’s top table this year.

“They came back much stronger,” coach Tony Smith said of his former club.

“It’s not something they would have envisaged or desired but they used it in the best possible way.

“I think it’s a great example of how you can use it to your benefit. Certainly the way they bounced back is very encouraging.”