Sheffield Eagles:

Mark Aston
Mark Aston
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The lofty position the Eagles hold is no surprise to director of rugby Mark Aston who believes his side are right at home among the elite of the Championship.

Aston has presided over his side’s rise to third place in the table, and after Sunday’s victory over Workington Town, they maintained their four point advantage over the chasing pack with four rounds of the regular season remaining.

While there will not be too many surprised at the position held by Leigh and Bradford, the Eagles have defied the odds to comfortably hold their own inside the top four, despite criticism from their coach for some of their recent performances.

For Aston though, his sides are where they should be in the division’s pecking order and he believes his side are currently meeting his objectives, but still have work to do if they are to have a crack at a return to the game’s elite.

“At the end of the day we started the competition against three full-time squads in London, Leigh and Bradford, so we always knew it would be tough against them,” Aston said. “We have now worked too hard to throw it all away, that’s the key, there are four games to go and we need the results.

“It is important that we continue to take each week at a time, the pressure is on everyone else to catch us up, but we need to keep focusing on what we are doing.

“We need to keep winning, but it’s also important for us to start performing better.”

The Eagles face a crunch fixture this weekend with one of their closest rivals when they travel to in-form Halifax. Richard Marshall’s side made it five straight wins with a 46-22 success over London Broncos at the weekend, and while they pose a real threat, Aston admits he would have been more than happy with the current scenario at the start of the campaign.

“At the beginning of the season if you’d have said to me we would be third with a four point cushion, I’d have bit your hand off,” he added.

“We are sat third with the team that we have put together, and there will be some that will think that we have over achieved, but we don’t think we have.”