LEEDS RHINOS’ players are under no illusions about the danger they are in, Liam Sutcliffe says.
Rhinos have four games left to save their Betfred Super League status after last weekend’s 38-36 home loss to Hull KR.
They are among a quartet of teams on four points in the Qualifiers table, two behind leaders Salford Red Devils.
Wins in three of their final four fixtures should be enough to keep them in Super League, but defeat at Widnes Vikings this Sunday would leave them facing the prospect of a one-off relegation decider in the million pound game.
“Everyone’s aware of the position we are in now,” Sutcliffe stated. “We should have won [against Hull KR].
“When we were leading by 10 points we should have shut the game out, but we were just too sloppy in defence and we let them back into it.”
Sutcliffe said the squad are determined to remain positive.
“You’ve always got to keep your head up,” he said.
“Luckily for us we get another chance this week to put things right. I think that’s the best thing, everyone’s raring to get into training and have a good go.
“Everyone’s disappointed, but we have really got to keep our heads up in this kind of competition.
“There’s no point moping around, we’ve just got to take it on the chin, review it and put things right.”
The performance three days ago did not reflect how Rhinos had prepared for the game, according to Sutcliffe.
He said: “The way we’ve been training the last few weeks, we’ve really been training well – probably the best we’ve trained.
“We are putting the hard work in and having a good dig and we’re just not seeming to put it right on the pitch so far.
“Hopefully we’ll get there and we’ll actually take it into the game.”
Rhinos’ only two wins over top-flight opposition since April were both against Widnes.
The Vikings have lost their three Qualifiers fixtures so far, two to Championship sides and Sutcliffe said: “Obviously it’s a must-win. It’s a must-win for both teams so hopefully we can put the wrongs we’ve been doing for the last few weeks right and go there and have a good performance for the full 80.”
Leeds’ 23-20 Ladbrokes Challenge Cup win away to Widnes in May ended a run of four successive defeats at Halton Stadium.
“It is always a tough place to go,” Sutcliffe added the trip to Halton Stadium. “We will review [Saturday’s] game and see where we went wrong and where we keep going wrong and hopefully put it right.”