The highs and lows of Sheffield Eagles’ campaign so far were best summed up in what turned into another heavy defeat against Hull KR on Sunday.
Few would have given the Eagles a chance against the current pace setters, especially after they shipped 50 points in round four against an improving Batley side.
Despite the Eagles’ deficiencies, they showed in round two that they there is potential in the new look side after they brushed aside a highly fancied Toulouse outfit.
The Eagles were on top in the first half, and had a 10-6 lead at one stage, before Rovers put them to the sword in the second stanza with 44 unanswered points to end with a scoreline which was a little flattering to the hosts.
“I’ve said previously that it might get a little bit worse before it gets better,” a philosophical Aston told The Star.
“We have been quite honest with them, there is maybe a bit of one-on-one conversations to be had, and when that happens I will be totally brutal and honest with them. Hopefully we will then get the response that we want.
“My hope is that we have gone as far down as we can when we lost at home to Batley, and we can start to build something now with these lads. There is always a chance that we keep digging, what we are talking about is starting to fill in, let’s not keep digging that hole for ourselves.”
Aston, who will have to take his side back to Humberside to face Rovers again in the fourth round of the Challenge Cup this month, has always stated it would take time for his side to gel.
But with high-flying Featherstone Rovers next on the menu the task doesn’t get any easier for the Eagles who have conceded more points than anyone else in the division – which includes 146 in their last three games.
On the positive front Aston will hope to have players coming back into the fold, with the Eagles chief left with a threadbare squad of 19 players for their last two Championship fixtures.
With feeder club Leigh Centurions undergoing an injury crisis of their own, Aston has been unable to bolster his ranks in numbers with just Lewis Foster joining up in recent weeks.
PNG second-rower Mark Mexico will be available again next weekend after completing his four match ban, whilst Aston also confirmed Jordan Cox could also be ready in less than fortnight.