Wakefield Trinity Wildcats hooker Paul Aiton is confident his side can spring a shock as they approach the first of a double-header against champions Leeds Rhinos tonight.
Wakefield have won their last four games to close the gap on the playoffs as they approach the end of the regular season, and Aiton firmly believes they can continue that run at Headingley.
He said: “We’ve got an extra spring in our step, looking forward to the Leeds game, it’s always big.
“They always have a vocal crowd and they’re a great team, but I’m quite confident.
“I don’t go into any game double-thinking myself, I always go in expecting the play to be as hard as we train and I think most of the boys are the same.”
Wakefield will be missing Paul Sykes and Dean Collis through injury but have had longer to prepare for the game than Leeds, and Aiton insists the 10-day break has done them the world of good.
He said: “I feel great, I’ve had a few days off and been able to refresh and mentally refresh as well because its a long season.
“(Sykes and Collis) are great players and they’ve been through the season for us but at the start of the week we acknowledged that they were going to be out so we got other players that can do the job.”
“We are taking it as a mini series but we have had out few days off and refreshed ourselves and we are ready to go.”
Wakefield face Leeds at Headingley tonight, with the match getting underway at 8pm. The Cats will then host the Rhinos next Friday, July 26.
Aiton is also keen to impress after missing Wakefield’s playoff charge last year, and hopes they can replicate that form in the coming weeks.
He said: “The game’s not just physical it’s mental too, so when you’re not in the team or not training with the boys you feel like you’re missing out on something or letting people down.
“I was quite disappointed when I missed out on the wins last year because I felt I played all the start of the season and I deserved to be there but I’m doing it now so hopefully we can do the same thing.
“I have never really looked at the table because I don’t want to get carried away on what’s going to happen, I just take it week to week.
“I’m really pumped to get further this year.
“A couple of games that we played were a bit scrappy but a win’s a win and confidence is high.”