IT IS not quite mission impossible, but boss Barry Eaton admits his Hunslet Hawks side are “behind the eight-ball” as they battle to stay in the Kingstone Press Championship.
Hawks go into the Championship Shield second from bottom in the table, four points adrift of Whitehaven and Batley Bulldogs and five behind Workington Town, who are the other side in the relegation dogfight.
The bottom two teams will drop into League One next year and, with Doncaster already doomed, Eaton accepts the odds are stacked against Hawks, who are on a 10-game losing run.
“We know we are in a tough position, but we are ready for it,” Eaton said ahead of tomorrow’s derby at Dewsbury Rams (3pm).
“We would have loved to be in a better position and we weren’t far off being in a better position, but we know we’ve got to go and win some games.
“We’ve got the toughest possible start, Dewsbury away. They are a very, very good side, especially at home, but we’ve not really got anything to lose.
“We are just going to go for it.”
Having no game last weekend has given several players chance to recover from injury and Eaton is hopeful play-maker Danny Grimshaw will return tomorrow.
“He was hurt in the warm-up before we played Workington, but he could be a potential game-breaker if he comes through,” Eaton predicted.
Rams begin the new competition second in the table and need only two wins to guarantee a place in the Shield semi-finals. The top-four will go through to knockout play-offs with the leading two teams having home advantage.
But coach Glenn Morrison insisted that does not mean they can cruise through the next seven matches.
“We’ve got to make sure we prepare as if every game’s a final,” Morrison said. “We want to get as many wins as we can, so we go into the semi-finals in good spirits. We want to get a home semi-final and reach the Shield final and this is the first test of that. We’ve got to make sure we prepare 100 per cent, so we show ourselves in the right manner.”
Hawks beat Rams earlier in the year and Morrison said that is a lesson. He added: “They are going to be coming all guns blazing and we’ve got to match that.”