Keep you fate in your own hands
Sheffield Eagles chief Mark Aston has urged his side not let their fate out of their own hands ahead of tonight’s trip to Widnes.
The Eagles know if they win their game in hand against the Vikings (7.45pm) they will return to third place in the Championship standings, but defeat would see their top five positon come under serious threat in the coming weeks.
Aston’s side have yet to fall out of the elite five positions this season, but face a Widnes side who would only be two points behind them if they had not been deducted 12 points for going into administration earlier in the campaign.
After a blistering start, three defeats in their last four Championship outings has seen the chasing pack edge closer to the Eagles, with Aston calling on his troops to maintain their position in the division’s elite, amid a tough run of fixtures.
He told The Star: “We have a tough gig coming up, and if we can out of that with a couple of victories then we'll be pleased with that.
“We have another game on the Wednesday, and then the Sunday against Featherstone, which is a four-pointer for me because they are up there with us. If we can just pick a couple of results then it keeps us in control of our own destiny. What I don't want to do is fall off the radar now because we have been good. We deserve to push on and hopefully challenge for the top five.”
The original fixture was postponed earlier in the campaign due to Widnes’ administration, and in the immediate aftermath of their takeover the Vikings showed signs of a resurgence.
But four defeats in their last five league outings have shown a vulnerability, with the former Super League mainstays remaining second bottom of the table.
Aston added: “They have been beaten a few times. Leigh beat them at Blackpool, Batley have beaten them, so have York. They are a good side but they are beatable. They are full-time, they have players who for me can play in Super League. Anthony Gelling, Danny Craven, Jack Owens, Tom Gilmore - they have plenty of people who can play. We're going to have to be good.”
The Eagles are watching the likes of Joel Farrell, Aaron Brown and Ben Blackmore closely after they have all picked up knocks in recent outings.