Sheffield Eagles director Mark Aston is not interested in what the teams behind him are doing ahead of the fight for the Championship Shield.
Eagles will play their home Championship Shield fixtures against Whitehaven (14 Aug), Swinton (21 Aug), Workington (4 Sept) and Dewsbury (11 Sept) on Sundays,(all 3pm) at Bawtry Road. They start their Shield campaign away at Halifax on August 7 (3pm), with other away trips to Oldham (Aug 29) and Bradford (Sep 18) (also 3pm.)
The bottom two sides at the end of the competition will be relegated, but Aston is only interested in moving forward as he prepares to lead Eagles into the closing straight of a rollercoaster season.
“We are only looking forward,” he said. “The most important thing is us. People have always spoken about us getting stronger towards the back end of a season. Usually get that a bit earlier than we have this season!
“We now need to build on this momentum. In the past I have spoken about confidence and belief, there is no reason why there shouldn’t be bags of it in this group at the moment in time.
“We know that we can play and we know that we can compete against anybody in this league. It should have been two out of two against the top sides in the Championship. That is where we need to generate all of pour energy from because it is, and it always will be, about us.” The Eagles now look to have come through the other side after some dark days this season.
Aston’s side have shown considerable improvement with three wins from five games, with Aston stating that even at their lowest, he always thought he had the respect of his players. “I have never thought that I had lost the dressing room,” he added.
“Sometimes coaches do lose that, I never felt that even through some tough days this season. I always felt that we were looking for some leadership.
“The change has been in the leaders, there are more of them in the group now.”