Mitch Stringer is determined that Sheffield Eagles won’t give up their Championship title without a fight.
The two-time Grand Final winners have struggled with inconsistent form this season and are still to secure a play-off place with only four league games left.
At times they slipped perilous close to the relegation zone but that’s never been on the club captain’s agenda.
“We are looking up, we are looking at the teams above us (in the league),” he said. “We have never looked down, never mentioned the ‘R’ word (relegation).
“This club always has aspirations and we want to go to the Grand Final and win it.
“We want fifth or fourth place if we can – that’s our plan. Reach the play-offs and then who knows?
“We’re the sort of team that can win a Grand Final even with the season we’ve had.”
Stringer has faced his own challenges struggling all season with a knee injury that will need surgery.
Recovery time is getting longer but the Scottish international prop has missed only a couple of games.
“Tubby (coach Mark Aston) has told me I’ve got to tough it out,” he said. “The plan is to get through one game at a time and then at the end of the season get it sorted with an operation.”
Stringer will be lining up against Whitehaven at Owlerton Stadium, on Sunday, as the Eagles seek to hold on to sixth place.
The team squeezed past relegated Swinton 31-30 in the last game. They can’t afford an upset with only a one-point advantage over the teams in the final play-off places, Keighley and Workington.
“Swinton came with a game plan to upset us, to try and knock us out of our stride and it worked to some extent,” said Stringer.
“But we got through the game and the most important thing is the three points which we needed.”
He added: “We owe Whitehaven one for what happened at their place when we lost (24-22).”