DESPITE suffering back-to-back defeats in their opening League One Shield game, North Wales Crusaders head coach, Mike Grady, believes that his side are still in the fight for a top two finish.
The Crusaders’ Shield campaign took another dent last weekend in the shape of a 40-22 defeat away to the University Of Gloucestershire All Golds.
However, with a clash against top placed Hunslet to look forward to this weekend, Grady wants his side to put their poor start behind them. He said: “We’ve had a difficult start – there’s no doubt about that.
“The performance against London was a disappointment but last weekends defeat was frustrating.
“All I can ask of the squad is that they give 100% and last Saturday they did that, the result is frustrating and perhaps there is a few opportunities which we didn’t take, but on a whole we weren’t far away.
“We’ll now come into this weekend on the back of two defeats, but we want to put that behind us and push on.”
Grady added: “It doesn’t get any easier, we’ll now face Hunslet who are top and they’ll be favourites for this game.
“We’ll have a few players back and will also want to put things right. There’s five games remaining and for me they are five must win games.
“The goal is to challenge for the League One Shield and to do that we’ll have to be at the top of our game over the next few weeks – there’s no easy matches in this league.”
Grady also shared his thoughts on the Crusaders’ chances of making the top two: “It’s going to be difficult but that doesn’t mean unachievable by any means – it’s not over yet.
“Other teams around us still have to play each other and whilst we didn’t want to have to rely on other results, that’s the situation that we are now in.
“I’m only focused on our remaining games, after those we’ll see where we end up.
“We can’t have any impact on other results so we’re all focused on our own game.
“There’s five cup finals on the way and we’ll take them one game at a time.”
On Sunday’s opponents, Hunslet RLFC, Grady said: “They’re a tough team to play against.
“We suffered a narrow defeat to them earlier in the year at the South Leeds Stadium and we felt that it was a game which we should have got something out of, so that adds another element to Sunday’s clash.
“At the end of the day they’ll come to Wrexham in a confident mood. They’re top of the table and favourites for this game – it’s our job to try and cause an upset and stay in the mix for the top two.”