Wakefield Trinity Wildcats boss Richard Agar will not be letting his side go into ‘holiday mode’ despite conceding the play-offs are all-but out of reach.
Wildcats go into Sunday’s home game against St Helens (kick-off 3.30pm) trailing the top-eight by five points with just six to play for.
Defeat at Warrington Wolves last weekend left the ’Cats head coach admitting another play-off campaign was “probably beyond” his men.
But Agar is determined to see his side finish on a high - starting with victory over Saints this weekend.
“It’s important in these last three games that we stick together and uphold some of the qualities that we feel that have become trademarks for us,” he said.
“People will probably change their opinion now on where Wakefield probably were 18 months ago and we want to make sure we finish the season strong, with pride, and as high up the table as we possibly can.”
As well as pride being at stake, Wakefield follow Sunday’s match with big games at Huddersfield Giants, who could clinch the League Leaders’ shield, and at home against derby foes Castleford Tigers.
Agar said: “We’re at home for two of those [three] games and we want show our fans some of the qualities that we’ve worked really hard to become synonymous with over the last 18 months and finish with a big points tally and as far up the competition ladder as we possibly can so we can have a positive off season.”
Frankie Mariano, who has scored tries in Wakefield’s last five matches, will miss the visit of Saints through a rib injury sustained in Saturday’s loss at Warrington.
But Dean Collis and Justin Poore, who missed the last outing through hamstring and knee problems respectively, will return to Wakefield’s 19-man squad.
Bobbie Goulding is also set to retain his place in the squad and Agar revealed Paul Sykes is recovering well from a broken leg and could yet feature before the end of the season.
He said: “He’s got almost a two week recovery until our next game so there could be a chance that he may feature at Huddersfield.”