Hull KR v Wakefield Trinity: There's plenty still to play for insists Willie Poching
Wakefield Trinity still have a lot to play for this season, according to their caretaker-coach Willie Poching.
Trinity, who visit Hull KR on Thursday, are second from bottom in Betfred Super League with five games left to play.
Relegation is unlikely and they are out of the play-offs race, but Poching insisted the remaining fixtures are far from meaningless.
“The season has been disappointing by our standards and we want to get a bit of pride out of what’s left of it and finish as strongly as we can,” he stressed.
“We’d like to be able to look back when we finish the season and say we can take a bit of confidence going into next season, whatever happens.”
Poching took over when Chris Chester was sacked two weeks ago and the visit to Rovers, one of his former clubs, will be his third game in charge.
He said he has made “subtle” changes so far.
“I’ve tried to implement some small things, but nothing too drastic,” he confirmed.
“I never wanted to come in and change anything straight away, it was just getting them back to playing and getting them happy and trying to get some cohesion between them and some confidence again.”
Poching was effectively given seven games to prove his credentials for a long-term appointment.
He stressed: “I am loving it.
“Whatever happens out of this will happen.
“My focus at the moment is on the group and on the now, just getting the team ready every single week.”
Trinity beat Warrington Wolves 28-22 in Poching’s first game at the helm, but lost 23-18 at Castleford Tigers last weekend.
Against Warrington, they almost let the win slip away after leading by 20 points and it was the reverse at Tigers, where Trinity hit back from 17 behind to nearly snatch victory at the death.
“We were a lot better in the second half than the first,” Poching said of the derby defeat.
“We can take some confidence and heart out of our second half performance and we’ll try to replicate some of that [on Thursday].
“We probably played for 60 minutes against Warrington and I thought for 40 were were pretty good against Cas, but an 80-minute performance is the challenge.
“That’s how it should be at this level.”
Trinity will be without full-back Max Jowitt because of a shoulder injury suffered against Castleford.
Jordan Crowther is back in contention alongside Kyle Wood, Joe Westerman, Yusuf Aydin and Ryan Hampshire who were in last week’s 21, but not selected for the game.
Dean Hadley could return for Rovers, but Matty Storton drops out from the team beaten by Hull last Saturday.
Hull KR: from Crooks, Minikin, Kenny-Dowall, Hall, Vete, Parcell, Sims, Takairangi, Linnett, Hadley, Litten, Lawler, King, Lewis, Keyes, Milnes, Maher, Johnson, Mustapha, Tate, Keinhorst.
Wakefield Trinity: from Johnstone, Kay, Miller, Lino, Fifita, K Wood, Arona, Ashurst, Tanginoa, Westerman, Pitts, Battye, Batchelor, Green, Senior, Crowther, Arundel, B Walker, Aydin, Kershaw, Hampshire.
Referee: Marcvus Griffiths (Widnes).
Kick-off: Thursday, 7.45pm.