Sheffield Eagles: Aston won’t go easy on wounded side as he looks to finish troubled season with silverware

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Mark Aston says he has adopted a tough approach on his Sheffield Eagles side as he looks to mastermind a Championship Shield semi-final victory over Halifax tomorrow (3pm).

After a confidence-draining defeat at Bradford last week, Aston began the process of picking up his players for the semi-final at The Shay as the Eagles look to end a troubled season with some silverware.

The Eagles chief admitted that he has given his side a tough week on the training ground as he looks to regain his side’s belief, following a turbulent month off the field coupled with back-to-back defeats.

Aston though has praised his side’s work behind the scenes, as he looks to fine tune preparation for the win or bust encounter.

“The lads have acquitted themselves quite well this week, we have monitored them and on Thursday we gave them a really tough intense session,” Aston told The Star.

“We have gone hard on them in the hope that we get the response on Sunday because sometimes you can go soft and then you just go through the motions. What we have demanded of them this week is to say we have to write our own story, and show people what we stand for because last week wasn’t something that we would normally serve up.

“It is about us, it is about a group of players and about finishing the season off correctly. We don’t want it to end this weekend, we want to go again and it may only be the Shield but this is a final to aim for, so after the year we have had we want to end on a positive note to end the season.”

Aston has been sweating over the fitness of Catalans loanee Thibaut Margalet and half-back Rhys Jacks, who have both been missing due to concussion related knocks.

There is still a question mark in that area, but Aston confirmed that centre Nathan Chappell has trained as he looks to shake off a niggling knee problem.

“I am hopeful,” Aston maintained.

“Margalet and Jacks you would hope would come through the concussion tests and be cleared. I am hoping that Nathan Chappell will get the green light as well because he has had a bit of a knee problem. We will have a look at Chappell today and see how he comes through and then we will make the call.”