It has been a largely successful start to the 2019 campaign for Sheffield Eagles, but director Mark Aston will be looking to smarten up his side’s game management ahead of Sunday’s trip to Dewsbury.
The impressive start to the season quickly elevated the Eagles to a lofty perch in the Championship standings, with Aston’s side still sitting second behind Toronto.
But defeat at Featherstone last weekend has alerted the experienced coach to one or two areas where he believes his side need to tighten up on, with the 51-year-old keen to focus on re-establishing the performances which have propelled his team towards the summit of the division.
“I just feel we’ll need to play smarter next time around,” Aston explained. “I didn't think that we were smart against Featherstone. What we experienced at Featherstone in terms of conditions is likely to be the same at Dewsbury There's no space, it will be muddy and it'll be a dogfight, so we know we have to show up better on certain things.
“We have to be disciplined, and when I talk about discipline, I don't mean penalties, I am talking about how we need to play and how we need to turn the ball over. We'll be talking about that this week, and we'll be working hard around that. We need to look at when and where we turn the ball over. We just need to have another look at that area, it has highlighted itself.”
Whilst the Eagles were enjoying their four game winning start to the campaign, Aston stressed they were still a work in progress, but certainly moving in the right direction.
That view hasn’t changed because of one defeat, with Aston still praising his side’s character for sticking in the contest despite being a man light following the red card for Blake Broadbent.
Aston knows there is work ahead, but the foundation is there for success in the future. “We have work to do,” he added.
“I also didn't think that we were great in contact, we were all over the place at times and we defended as individuals last week. I am never going to knock them for their commitment, because they give their all but we need to be smarter. Certainly going to a place like Dewsbury, if we aren't smart then we'll can come unstuck.”