DISAPPOINTED Wakefield Trinity boss Chris Chester admits he feared his side had one eye on their Challenge Cup quarter-final when hammered 32-6 at home to Leeds Rhinos on Friday.
The Wildcats face Huddersfield Giants in Thursday’s last-eight meeting as they continue in their bid to reach Wembley for the first time since 1979.
Their heavy loss against the bottom-placed champions was a setback and Chester conceded: “I’d like to think they didn’t have the cup match on their minds but I did ask that question at end.
“We were very poor defensively, had very little field position and were out-played by Leeds.
“There’s some players there who have probably played themselves out of a spot for Thursday.
“We missed Danny Kirmond and Nick Scruton – there’s two leaders there – and we looked lost at times.”
He added: “I’ve told them there’s no point feeling sorry for themselves.
“We’ve a shortish turnaround – six days – to prepare for what is the biggest game this club has had since 2008. It’s a game we’re looking forward to.
“We do need to be a lot better than Friday but I’m expecting a response from the boys.
“I’m confident we’ll get one.”
Wakefield captain Kirmond is recovering after being in hospital on a drip with an infection in his knee.
Scruton – the club’s vice-captain – missed the Leeds game with a groin problem.