Crucial two months lie ahead for Wakefield Trinity, insists head coach Chris Chester
Trinity chief Chris Chester believes that Wakefield’s success this season could be determined by their home form during March and April.
Wakefield will play at Belle Vue six times over the course of their next eight games, starting with the visit of Hull Kingston Rovers on Sunday (3pm).
They travel to the Robins’ city rivals, Hull FC, next Friday before facing four homes games in a row, including fixtures against Warrington Wolves and Wigan Warriors.
Chester admits that his side are two points short of where they wanted to be at this stage, but feels that the next two months could be crucial.
“We spoke in pre-season about getting three wins from four, so we are a bit behind on our targets,” said Chester.
“We have got a really important couple of months coming up, six out of our next eight games are at home.
“If we can win those, get those six games boxed off, it gives us a great chance to get into a semi-final at the end of the year.
“It is important that we keep working hard, we have had another really good week this week.
“We know how important this game is against Hull KR and the threats that they can throw at you.
“They are going to test us all game. They are going to test our honesty, we have just got to make sure we are switched on.”
Rovers could be without up to 12 players when they visit Wakefield on Sunday.
Jimmy Keinhorst, Robbie Mulhern and Kane Linnett will all require late checks tomorrow (Saturday) while the likes of Shaun Lunt and Ryan Lannon will not feature.
The Robins will also be without captain Joel Tomkins after he was hit with a Grade D charge of questioning the integrity of a match official.
Despite the injury concerns for Sunday’s opponents, Chester insists that Wakefield won’t be thinking about the type of side they may face this weekend.
He said: “We are preparing as though they are bringing their best team.
“What team they bring is pretty irrelevant to us.
“We have got to focus on the things that we can improve on and that is probably our goal-line defence.
“They are going to test us, they like to throw the ball around.
“They have got lots of trick plays from scrums and from taps, so we have prepared for everything.
“They are very unpredictable and they are going to test our honesty all game.”
Wakefield’s only injury concerns are Tyler Randell and Matty Ashurst, although Chester is hoping that Ashurst will be in contention for next week’s trip to Hull FC.
Chester felt that Wakefield’s win at Leeds Rhinos last weekend was their best performance of the season.
He said: “I thought our discipline was really good against Leeds.
“I was disappointed with the yardage penalties, I still think we are a bit silly in those kind of areas.
“You can’t afford to do that against top-quality sides.
“There is plenty for us to improve on and we are looking forward to being at home on Sunday.”
Chester added: “There is not going to be a great deal of change this week with the 17.
“We have got people like Anthony England who could potentially miss out.
“We have pretty much got a new spine and that has taken us a little while to get going.
“But I think, as we saw last week, the quality that we have got and the way that we can play.”