SHEFFIELD Eagles have ruled out the ‘Brian Noble factor’ from their planning for trip to Halifax tomorrow.
The former Great Britain, Bradford and Wigan boss has taken an advisory role to Fax’s coach, Matt Calland.
It follows a disastrous start to the season by last year’s Grand Final winners, with only two wins from eight Championship games.
Eagles coach Mark Aston insists his focus has been on preparing the squad for the trip to the Shay.
He said: “The issue is Sheffield Eagles and their players and that they perform to the standards we set. That’s no disrespect to Brian because he’s a quality coach and his record speaks for that but it’s about our players being at the top of their game.”
Both teams need the boost of a win after poor results last weekend. Halifax lost 30-18 at Featherstone and the Eagles five-match winning run in the Championship ground to a halt with a 44-8 hammering by Leigh.
A win for the Eagles would also give them this first league double of the season after a 41-22 success over Halifax at Bramall Lane in April.
Aston said: “Halifax are a quality team and it would be great to get a double over them as they knocked us out of the play-offs last year in the semi-finals.
“They are big and strong and have quality across the squad and it’s a major challenge for us.”
Aston has been putting the emphasis on tighter defending in a series of tough training sessions.
He said: “We had the best defence in the competition before the Leigh game but gave a way soft tries and I’m aggrieved about that.”
Prop forward Jack Howieson is a major doubt for the game after missing training with a virus.