Sheffield Eagles director of rugby Mark Aston says it is high time his side gave the home faithful a performance and result ahead of Sunday’s crucial clash with Swinton Lions.
With just one victory on home soil since their return to the Steel City, Aston is keen to replicate their recent improved displays on the road against a Swinton side who are currently propping up the Betfred Championship.
Aston is acutely aware that their attempts to re-engage with their fan base after years in exile relies on supporters viewing a winning team, and after making major strides in the last few weeks the Eagles chief says his side cannot afford a slip as they renew their attempts to make the OLP a fortress.
“The last two positive performances have been away, what we are looking for now is a performance for the home fans,” he explained.
“We need to put a smile on their faces and show them that we are back, we are coming to the fore, and we are going to fight until the end to finish as high as we can in the competition.
“The fans have had it tough as much as anyone, so we need to put a performance out there to show that we are ready for the fight ahead. We’ve done it the last couple of weeks, but it has been away, we need the home fans to see this because we haven’t shown enough of it to them this season.
“The lads have trained really after a long weekend off. We have had some really honest and intense training and they look up for it.”
The Eagles know a victory tomorrow would put them six points clear of the Lions, but Aston says it won’t be easy after an extremely tight affair at Heywood Road earlier in the season.
A late Simon Brown drop goal ensured the Eagles scraped home by a point, with Aston stressing his side have been forewarned of a Swinton backlash at the OLP (3pm).
“I’ve watched Swinton at the Bash when they played well and, as I said when we beat them 19-18, we could have got beat that day by 40 points,” he added.
“They put 40 points on Rochdale recently, they are a decent side.
“Stuart (Littler) is doing well with them, and we know that we will have to be good.”