Wakefield head coach Richard Agar is not subscribing to the opinion this weekend is a good time to play Leeds Rhinos who have lost four of their last five games.
The Champions have struggled in recent weeks including a 50-8 home defeat by high flying Wigan Warriors while Trinity have won four of their last five matches.
The Wildcats travel to Headingley on Monday evening in good form of their own with three wins in their last four games and just one defeat in five.
Whilst making the short trip to Headingley confident, Agar says he and his side are still very aware of the threat the Rhinos pose even in an unusually poor run of results.
“The plan is to continue our run but there is a pretty big job in front of us and I know people are subscribing to the fact it could be a good time to play Leeds but I am not too sure about that,” he said.
“I feel we are going to play a team that are on the back end of fairly big defeat by their standards and they will certainly be wanting to banish a few doubts and criticisms that have came their way.
“I know they have a fair few players that will be involved in the Exiles game but I am sure they have dealt with situations where they have had to back up from representative football before. I guess the drawback for them is the preparation for this week wouldn’t be normal.
“They have a lot of guys in the England squad and the Knights so their preparation will have been disrupted and I will probably not know the make-up of their team until fairly late on. They have a big enough squad and players who have been in this situation before so they will be fine but it is a big task for us but nonetheless.
“We are going to Headingley on the back of three wins and feeling ok about ourselves and the way we are going.”
The confidence in Wakefield’s performances is clearly flowing after producing their best form of the season and the head coach says that self belief has never really been an issue.
“I wouldn’t say the confidence was drastically missing, I think it’s quite natural that if you do not win in three or four games then your confidence takes a dent. I have been keen to stress throughout the year that our team spirit has been very good with our confidence just taking a little dent here and there.
“They have been a real good group to work with and sometimes we have just came up against teams that sometimes just have a little bit more talent than us and the gulf has sometimes shown. Very seldom this year could we be accused of not giving it our best shot and lacking commitment because that would not be fair to label at our boys.”
It will be the second time Wakefield travel to Headingley in 2012 after the Carnegie Challenge Cup defeat and Agar will be looking to reverse the score line from that night in April.
The visitors went into the interval in that game leading but were never really in the match after the break as the Rhinos secured their passage into the next round.
“We were okay in the cup game and scored a couple of nice tries to get in front on the scoreboard which looked ok for a while but we fell away.
That was a period that we felt was not great for our season, around Easter time we had a number of games thick and fast and I don’t think our squad coped particularly well. We had a couple of key players out injured and we were struggling.”
The Rhinos go into Mondays encounter sat in ninth position in Super League and one point outside the play-offs knowing a victory would lift them into the top eight and above Bradford Bulls. Trinity will be doing all they can to stop that but Agar insists the team are focussing on themselves.
“For them to be out of the play-offs at this stage is a bit concerning for them but at the same time there is lots of football left this season. It is still very tight and a few good wins would catapult them back up but we are concentrating on ourselves.
That has really worked of late and we are in a decent run of form over the last four or five games and we are looking to continue that and give ourselves a chance of pulling off a win after a good performance.”
Tickets are still available for the trip to Leeds with ticket prices starting from £20. Travel is also available priced at £5.50 for members and £6.50 for non-members.
Tickets and travel can be booked from either the Ridings Centre Store, Rapid Solicitors Stadium Box Office or by calling 01924 201548 and will go off sale at midday on Monday.
Supporters are reminded that the game is not being shown on Sky Sports.
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