Richard Agar has called for his team to improve their attitude towards defence ahead of a trip to face Leeds Rhinos this evening.
The Wildcats will go up against the Rhinos just five days after the Rhinos dumped Trinity out of the Tetley’s Challenge Cup with a clinical display that made the most of defensive deficiencies on the part of the boys in red, white and blue.
That result came on the back of a loss at Hull KR just as Agar’s men appeared to be building momentum after two big wins of their own and running unbeaten St. Helens close to highlight the potential within the team.
With four first team regulars missing through injury a trip to Headingley Carnegie will prove a huge challenge for the Wildcats buy Agar is focussing on seeing an improved defensive effort from his players and you can listen to his match preview HERE.
“On a five-day turnaround there’s no way we can get on a training field and fix up everything that went wrong at the weekend so we’ve very much been looking at fixing up our attitude and our focus,” Agar said at the weekly media briefing.
“I’m not saying we’ve got a bad attitude, but it was certainly a loose one towards contact.
“We said to our guys on Monday that unless we can fix some of these defensive issues up then we’re not going to go too far as a football team and most of them are around winning contacts. I think that is a fairly easy one to fix up.
“It’s about our attitude to contact and rolling our sleeves up and getting stuck in a little bit harder for a little bit longer.”
Agar is unable to call on nine players through injury and ongoing loan agreements meaning the likes of Luke Briscoe are set to get a chance to shine against his parent club.
After an encouraging trio of performances before the defeats to Hull KR and Leeds, the Wildcats boss said much of the week has been spent injecting belief into the players that they have the ability to challenge one of the competitions form sides.
“Every now and again we’ve got a performance like that in us, like most teams in the competition throughout the 27 rounds will have. We knew at some stage we’d probably have some tough days but to get two on the trot has been a difficult one for us.
“After some harsh words post Hull KR, it was important this week to try and get our blokes understanding what’s important and our actions are going to count for a lot this Friday. Getting the boys positive and in a position where they believe they can go out and beat Leeds has been most important.
“We did a contact session with some sore bodies on Tuesday but I think the players can’t wait to get back out on the park and do something about it.
“What we’ve turned out in the last two weeks is unacceptable and is very, very hard to take and makes it a tough week. But we have got a bunch of players that care and ultimately are prepared to do something about it.
“We’re very conscious that you can’t keep hitting players over the head with a hammer. If you keep telling someone they’re no good then they’re going to think they’re no good. It was important for us to try and isolate a couple of areas. One is our contact and the other is the number of simple errors we are making. If we can fix these two very fixable areas up then we will give ourselves a lot better chance.”
Ticket’s for tonight’s game will be available on the gate priced from £22 for adults, £15 for concessions (students, OAP’s and under 21′s) and £12 for juniors aged 16 and under. All prices are for the Western Terrace.