Sheffield Eagles’ boss is pleased with the character of his new look side
Coach Mark Aston has witnessed contrasting Sheffield Eagles’ performances in their last two outings, but in preparation for a return to action this weekend, he has taken plenty of positives from both defeats.
Defeats to Halifax and Leigh saw Aston’s side slip to back-to-back league losses for the first time this season, but it was the manner of the response his troops showed to the disappointing display against Fax, which gave the experienced coach the signs he has been looking for.
Aston knew there would be bumps in the road with what is largely a brand new squad, which has upset the odds on countless occasions already this season.
But after the game against Halifax, Aston was impressed with how his class of 2019 managed d the disappointment, to bounce back with a high-quality display at Leigh – albeit it ended with a heart-breaking defeat late on.
Aston said: “We have empowered them to take ownership of their performances, and despite the frustration in the loss against Halifax, I saw something afterwards that gave me encouragement.
“We can only point them in the direction we want. They have to go out there and put it into practice. For them to take ownership of the defeat against Halifax was great, and you could see a desire to put it right. I had my say but I didn't have to say much, they dealt with it internally, some put their hands up and we moved on. The senior guys are really standing up and delivering the messages that obviously we want.”
Aston was at a loss various times last season after broadcasting a similar post-match bulletin after several defeats, without seeing enough feedback from his group to explain some of their shortcomings.
The Eagles’ chief feels it is different this time around, with his current crop happy to lead their own inquest, and look for their own pathway to redemption without constantly hearing the same voices from the staff.
He added: “It is a different place in that respect to what we have had over the last couple of years. They are taking it on, and the nice thing is they sorted out the Halifax performance themselves, and came back with something at Leigh. That's good to see. There were disappointed, but you want to see the response and the positive performance which we did. That's all we can ask for.”