The axe is being sharpened after Sheffield Eagles loss to Dewsbury

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A period of reflection awaits for Mark Aston as the Sheffield Eagles director promises changes for the Championship Shield. Eagles have a week away from action, with the Shield fixtures set to be announced imminently, with Aston having time to contemplate changes following defeat to Dewsbury Rams.

St Helens trio Liam Cooper, Jonah Cunningham and Calvin Wellington will all be available to the Eagles chief, who was left ruing what he described as a failure to ‘execute the game plan’ as the primary reason for their latest defeat.

Aston now looks set to take stock of the situation, knowing that if he does want to make radical changes he has options at his disposal.

“I am trying to see how we develop going forward” he said. “There will be a few disappointed people. I have spoken about it over the last couple of months or so. We have players here now playing for contracts, and we also have players who possibly know by now that they won’t be here next season. We need to get players here who want to play, who want to do what I ask them to do, and want to respect the coach and the backroom staff. That’s what we’ll do, we have to change things. The game against Dewsbury was there for the taking and the reason we didn’t win it was because we didn’t execute the game plan to perfection.”

The goal for Eagles is to go one better than last season when they were beaten in the Shield final by Bradford Bulls. They have a nine point cushion over the relegation places which should allow Aston the chance to experiment if he wishes, and he hasn’t ruled out using all three of his latest loan signings from Saints.

“Our target is to get to the final” he added. “We can achieve that by getting our heads down and working hard for each other and being disciplined and respectful. If we are going to fetch in kids who want to play and make the coach happy, then we’ll do it.”