It has been a long wait - but Sheffield Eagles director of rugby Mark Aston says he is now starting to see the best form from a number of his players – and they are peaking just at the right time.
The Eagles have won two of their last three Kingstone Press Championship fixtures to ease their relegation worries, and give coach Aston some valuable breathing space ahead of the league split in just over a week.
The stunning victory over London was a gentle reminder to the rest of the division that the Eagles can mix it with the best on their day, and Aston believes that the recent success is due in no small part to a number of players finally hitting their potential at a crunch time of the season.
“I think some of the players now, the likes of Scott Wheeldon, Adam Neal and Matt James – they are really now starting to hit top form,” Aston told The Star.
“The penny still hasn’t fully dropped with some of them, but I think a lot of the lads are mindful of where we are.
“Keal Carlile has probably been our most consistent performer over recent weeks, Steven Thorpe is another, so we certainly now have a group of players who are standing up and showing they can compete against anyone at this level. That’s what we have to do.”
With champions Leigh Centurions next up tomorrow night, Aston knows that his side must maintain the standards shown against London if they are to pull off another sensational success.
With only two games of the regular season remaining, the Eagles supremo has challenged his side to get maximum points as he looks for a favourable set of fixtures come the end of season split.
“We would love to have four home games when the season splits off, so that means we have to be in the top four of the bottom eight – and I think we can still do that,” Aston affirmed.
“There are some tough games coming up but that is what we enjoy and the lads have some confidence now.
“We have been speaking about it for the last six weeks. I have been speaking about how we go about our business, and how we go about trying to win these remaining games. That’s all that matters to me. It is about getting results at this stage.”