Eagles boss set for triple boost ahead of Batley clash

Sheffield Eagles' Steve Thorpe. Picture: Andrew Roe

Sheffield Eagles' Steve Thorpe. Picture: Andrew Roe

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Director of rugby Mark Aston has admitted his frustration at not being able to add to his squad, but he looks set for a triple boost ahead of tonight’s game with Batley (7.45pm).

Aston has again been thwarted in the transfer market as he looks to shake-up his struggling outfit, but he is set to make changes from within tonight with captain Steve Thorpe set for a return less than a month after breaking his cheekbone.

That will come as a welcome fillip for the Eagles coach who has admitted he has struggled to find the right players to bolster his side, who host Batley tonight looking to end a four match losing streak.

“We have to get the right people in but there isn’t massive amounts out there,” he told The Star.

“That’s the issue for us at the moment.

“I am looking for numbers, I spoke about that six weeks ago saying I needed to bring players in. I had some issues to sort out, there are still one or two to sort but I need hands on deck.”

The Eagles have this week been linked with Leigh Centurions’ out of favour half-back Martin Ridyard, but it is understood that reports of a move for the 29-year-old is just speculation.

Aston has always maintained if he did make a move in the market it would more than likely be a loan switch involving Super League clubs.

Thorpe is in the 19-man squad alongside Duane Straugheir who returns following a lengthy lay-off with a fractured eye socket. Matty Fozard is also among the numbers despite a knee injury, but young Jack Blagbrough misses out. PNG winger Garry Lo is also out as he continues to nurse a long standing shoulder problem sustained earlier in the season.

Aston is now taking the mindset of one game at a time after conceding that a top four place is unlikely.

His sole focus is on his team as they welcome John Kear’s Batley, who arrive looking to consolidate their lofty third position in the Kingstone Press Championship table.

“We are not thinking about that (the top four) at all now, we are just trying to focus week-to-week, and go into every game with the attitude of we are going to try and win,” he added.

“We need to forget about the opposition to a degree and focus on ourselves. We are the only ones who can turn it around.”