posted on 30 August 2014

James Webster says the Wildcats are focused on ending the season on a high ahead of three big final games.

James Webster is looking to end with three wins.

Preparations are in full swing for 2015 with Lopini Paea the latest man to sign on the dotted line at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium, but Webster wants to end the current campaign with three victories.

Trinity face three sides all with something to play for and the Wildcats themselves still have an outside chance of making the play-offs.  Sunday’s visitors Salford Red Devils and Hull KR are both chasing the same goal, while sandwiched in-between is a derby clash with Castleford Tigers as they chase a top four spot.

Webster is pleased that his side have three matches that are sure to have plenty of intensity.

“You don’t want dead rubbers,” said Webster.  “It’s a hard part of the year really.  You’ve got people that are leaving; people that are negotiating contracts; people on loan who don’t know if they’re going back or not – it’s a tough part of the year to manage as a coach.

“It’s tough for players too as they’ve got so much to think about.  Three decent games are always good to finish with.”

Defeats to Huddersfield Giants and St. Helens have left the Wildcats chances of making the play-offs out of their hands to some extent, with Widnes Vikings in pole position for the final berth and Hull KR waiting on any slip-ups.

Both the Wildcats and Salford sit three points adrift of eighth place and a defeat is likely to extinguish any remaining hopes of a spot in the end of season matches for one group of players on Sunday.

Webster continued to reiterate that the play-offs have not been spoken about within the camp and says his players are aiming for three final wins, starting with the visit of the much improved Devils.

“It hasn’t really been spoken about (the play-offs) – we just want to win.  With the weeks off and the two games we’ve lost it feels like a while since we’ve won a game.  We want to go out there and win this week.

“We understand that Salford are playing really well and we’ve done a lot of work on Salford this week.  They’ve  got some great players in their team so for us to win this week we’re going to have to play well, they’re not going to gift wrap it for us.

Sunday will see Tim Smith go up against his parent club having rejoined the Wildcats on loan when Webster took charge in June.  The match will be played a year and a day since Smith was sold to the Devils to ease the financial burden on the Wildcats.

His return was pivotal to the five-game unbeaten run that secured Super League status for 2015 and Webster joked that he hopes Smith can have a similar impact to Chris Riley when he faced parent club Warrington Wolves earlier this year.

“If he scores three tries I’ll be happy,” said Webster with a smile, referring to Riley’s hat-trick at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.

“Timmy will be in for a bit of extra attention, I’m sure in that Salford know him well.  Timmy hasn’t spoken about it any differently this week, he’s prepared just as he always has.

“I don’t think he left on bad terms with Salford, I just think it was a matter of a lot of things.  Timmy likes playing here and doesn’t bear any grudges against Salford as far as I know so I don’t think it’s a motivation of trying to get one over on them.”

Hear more from Webster on the Wildcats Audioboo channel.

Tickets for Sunday’s game remain on sale at the pre-match prices of £20 adults and £12 juniors/concessions until 5pm this evening from the Ridings Centre Store.

Tickets will be available on the gate from 1.30pm on Sunday priced at £22 adults and £12 juniors/concessions.


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