Characters must come to the fore: that’s the message from director Mark Aston as Sheffield Eagles kick off a crucial Easter double-header against Rochdale today.
Despite still being in the infancy of the 2018 Betfred Championship, Aston knows that defeat in the next two games could leave his side adrift at the foot of the table, whilst a positive Easter will bring his side back in touch with the rest of the division.
Aston has bemoaned his side’s lack of fight at Barrow last Sunday and will be pinning his hopes on a positive backlash from ailing side. “We have to keep them going. What I want is players who will raise the bar, and challenge themselves” he said.
“We need those characters and personalities to come to the fore. Every games is tough at the moment for us.
“Rochdale might only have a couple of points but they put in a great performance against Toronto and were very unlucky. They could easily have won but for a try-saving tackle by Quentin Laulu-Togagae. They played well and it would have been a deserved victory but Toronto held on.”
The Eagles were dealt a blow this week following confirmation that Cory Aston could be out for up to two months with a knee problem, whilst winger Ben Blackmore serves a one-match ban from an incident in the Challenge Cup defeat to Barrow.
Eagles will be hopeful of having the likes of Jake Spedding, James Bentley, Jack Ashworth and Matty Costello available on dual-registration, but with St Helens likely to release their youngsters late in the day, Aston will need every available body.
“We know that Cory and Ben Blackmore will be missing,” he added.
“We’ve had a look at them all in training, and we’ll have a chat about them and determine who is fit, who isn’t fit, who wants to play, who doesn’t want to play. It’ll be all hands on deck whatever the scenario for both games because we only have a small squad.”
Kick off at the Olympic Legacy Park today is 3pm.