No excuses for Sheffield Eagles’ form lapse

Sheffield Eagles' Mitch Stringer tries to break through against Swinton Lions, with Keal Carlisle in the background.
Sheffield Eagles' Mitch Stringer tries to break through against Swinton Lions, with Keal Carlisle in the background.
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Hooker Keal Carlile says there is still a real belief the Sheffield Eagles’ camp that the club can be successful this season.

After an encouraging start to the Kingstone Press Championship season, the Eagles have been cut down to size after defeats to Batley, Leigh and Whitehaven in recent weeks.

Whilst the performance against Leigh was seen in a positive light, Mark Aston’s side were bitterly disappointed by a home defeat to Whitehaven last weekend.

Carlile, 26, was one of a handful of last season’s squad to stay with club over the close season, after signing for the Eagles from Hull Kingston Rovers almost a year to the day.

The former Huddersfield and Bradford ace remains confident that the Eagles can find their top form again, explaining the new look side are still evolving.

“There is no panic, we have a completely new squad and it will take some time to gel,” he said.

“We have looked good in training so there are no real excuses from us, we have been disappointed with some of the results but there is a real belief amongst the boys that we can achieve something here. We need to clean up in some areas, and cut out the silly errors, but if we can do that then we can do well this year.”

With 11 new players coming into the club it was always going to be a transitional period for Aston’s youthful looking side.

This weekend they have a welcome break from league action with Swinton the visitors in the fourth round of the Challenge Cup.

Now one of the senior figures at the club, the 25-year-old believes that it will only take minor adjustments to recapture their early season form.

“It isn’t anything major, hopefully it will come in time because we have to believe that we can succeed in every game that we play in,” he added.

“It is a building process” said Carlisle.

“We are now a full-time club which will put a bit more pressure on us, because we need to be seen to be competing with the likes of Leigh and Bradford, and the public expects us to compete with those teams.

“In the big games this season we have risen to the occasion.

“In fits and starts we have looked good so it is a matter of being consistent now, and then hopefully we can kick on.”