Sheffield Eagles director of rugby Mark Aston says he will fight to maintain morale amongst his senior players, as he looks for leaders to guide the club out of their early season slump.
The Eagles face a stern test of character and confidence after a second half demise cost them what would have been their first victory of the season at Barrow on Sunday.
Leading by 18 points, Aston’s troops again ended up on the losing side after their brittle confidence was exposed in the second half at Craven Park.
The Eagles chief knows he faces a battle to maintain belief in the camp, calling on his senior players to keep the faith ahead of the upcoming home Easter double-header.
“We have spoken about confidence,” Aston explained.
“We have one or two of the work horses starting to falter a little bit, they are starting to doubt it and that’s why we need a win.
“They are the guys who have been holding us together for a while and they have been playing well, so we cannot afford to lose them.
“It is important that we get a good performance and result quickly so we can feel a little more relaxed and go into the next two or three games with a lot of confidence.”
The Eagles have now lost seven straight games in all competitions, and with Rochdale and Batley set to visit the Olympic Legacy Park in quick succession, Aston knows his side must improve quickly to avoid being left behind at the foot of the Championship table.
The question is whether the experienced coach has the personnel to make significant changes, with the likes of Menzie Yere and new signing Corey Makelim still awaiting clearance to be involved.
“We’re a group of people who turn up every Sunday to play a team sport but we’re not a team,” he said.
“We’ve got so many players that are trying and working hard but others who aren’t good enough to be in the team and we’re getting let down.
“It’s off the field as well as on it, we’re not disciplined enough and that’s something that is hard to take as a professional.
“I’ve probably got a squad of 20 and if somebody doesn’t do what they’re supposed to, it shouldn’t even be considered but I can’t change it.”