YORKSHIRE Carnegie head coach Bryan Redpath says his squad have “five cup finals” as they seek to confirm their top four Championship placing.
They head to Moseley today (Feb 5) as they begin their final run-in for a place in the play-offs.
Losing last week to leaders Bristol was their third defeat in four games and sees them drop down to fourth, the last of the semi-final spots.
But Repdath still has full confidence in his side
“The boys are feeling pretty positive this week,” he said.
“We lost to Bristol on Sunday but we were able to match them for long periods of the game.
“A few decisions went against us in the game and that was disappointing but the players have not let that impact on them.
“Moseley are fighting for their lives and it has always been a tough venue for us so we know what is expected from the team on Saturday.
“But we also know we’ve got five games left in the league and they are almost like cup finals to make sure we get in that four.
“Also there’s plenty of players out of contract, too, who will want to prove the want to stay here.”
A few players get an unexpected chance today given captain Chris Jones and hooker Phil Nilsen both suffered injuries against Bristol.
Matt Smith and Joe Graham come into replace them in the starting line-up and the other change sees Lee Imiolek start, with Charlie Beech named as a replacement.
Redpath added: “Phil bashed his shoulder and that’s disappointing especially with Jack Walker also being out injured while Jonesy has a pelvis injury so that adds to the others with Jack and Josh Bainbridge.
“But people like Matt Smith and Joe Graham now get a chance and I don’t have a huge concern about it.
“At hooker, as well as Joe, Jordan Poole at 18 might get an opportunity off the bench, too, so that’s great for him.”
Moseley are, of course, struggling but Redpath knows not to under-estimate them.
“We don’t go down there with any complacency,” he said.
“The conditions could be heavy and wet and it’s about who manages that most.
“We can’t control the weather or the ref but we can control our own actions and we have to do that in a tricky situation. Our work ethic and understanding of those conditions will be key.”
No8 Ryan Burrows will captain the side in Jones’ absence.
Redpath added: “He’s done that on many occasions and is one of our vice-captains with Chris Pilgrim but we need a big performance from ball carriers like him, too.
“Last weekend we certainly showed a lot of good things – we made the line breaks even if not capitalising on them – and have to build on that now.
“This game is massive for us for a couple of reasons.”
Ironically, Carnegie take on Moseley in the British & Irish Cup quarter-final too a week tomorrow but at Headingley.
Their other Championship games are third-placed Bedford and Nottingham at home with London Welsh and Jersey away.