Wakefield head coach Richard Agar has told Wildcats TV Salford will prove to be difficult opposition at Leigh when Trinity face the City Reds in the crucial round 27 fixture this evening.
The Wildcats know a win will guarantee a place in the play-offs whatever the result Bradford achieve against Catalan in France. Agar’s men are currently in pole position for the final top eight spot sitting on 24 points with the Bulls on 23 points. The game in Perpignan kicks off 3pm UK time and if the Dragons get the victory then Wakefield will have secured a play-off spot before their own game starts.
Trinity go into the game full of confidence while Salford have lost their previous six Super League games and were dealt a further blow this week when the match had to be moved to the Leigh Sports Village. It was due to a fixture clash with joint tenants Sale Sharks after the game was moved from Friday to Saturday due to Sky coverage.
Despite the contrast in form between the sides, Agar knows the team have to improve on the performance against Widnes.
“We realise as a team we can’t be too far away from our best and expect to get over the line and win games. We know we have to hit the right level and for us the difference between a good performance and a not so good performance is a pretty big one. Usually if we get a not so good performance we tend to come on the backside of results.
“I wouldn’t say we have a lot to work on because since Magic we are averaging almost 30 points a game so that would suggest to me that our attack is functioning quite alright against the very best teams,” said Agar.
Six games ago the Reds had a realistic chance of the play-offs while Wakefield looked dead and buried but the loss of Matty Smith proved crucial for Phil Vievers’ men while his opposite number led his team to six straight victories and Agar says they face an unpredictable challenge tonight.
“We have watched Salford and sometimes you’re not quite sure what you’re going to get from them. If we get the best Salford then they have proved time and time again this year that they too can post points and play really well against some good sides. They have had some inconsistencies of late, they’ve lost a couple of key players out of the team but it’s the last game of the year and they’ll view it as a real positive way to go out by getting a win against us.
“I was quite looking forward to going to Salford’s new ground but I’m glad it’s at Leigh because again it has a super playing surface and a good stadium. I think it’s very hard on Salford to tell the truth, I think it’s a very difficult situation for them but I don’t want to get into the politics of it, I just want to prepare our side to get ready for Salford, wherever we play them.
“We know it’s one or two of their players last games and if they want to give them a good send off we can expect a performance from them but this week we have very much concentrated on getting our own things right and I think that’s important for us. If we do get our own things straight then we have proven we are a difficult team to play against.
“Like any team we have had the odd blip, Easter springs to mind for us but I think from the word go, even when we haven’t had results we’ve been very spirited, competitive and tried to play the game in the right way. We have got our just rewards over the second half of the season, since the Magic Weekend only Wigan have accrued more league points than us which is a truly outstanding effort.
“I’ve heard us being accused of being a conservative team and a team that has rode our luck and things like that. I think the stats that I’ve just thrown at you proves that if we have been riding our luck then we’ve been doing that for a hell of a long time, I think we have been a competitive team and averaging almost 30 points a game shows that one thing we are not is conservative. We know we have to play well to beat teams and if we don’t play well then we generally don’t win.
“We have not come anywhere near Wigan, we came very close to Warrington and there is only them and Bradford in the competition that we haven’t beaten this year, I think that is a wonderful turnaround for us.”
Richard Agar was speaking to Wildcats TV in his weekly press conference and you can watch the full extended video HERE where he talks in-depth about the possibility of reaching the play-offs and where it would rank in his personal career, changing the mentality of the club, banning cards from the changing rooms, the latest on the recruitment along with revealing if he’ll be keeping an eye on the Bulls score as well as much, much more.
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