Forward Michael Knowles believes Sheffield Eagles players face a test of character in front of their home fans.
They are out to avoid back-to-back defeats at Owlerton when they play third-placed Halifax on Sunday.
“We need to improve and quick for Halifax,” said the experienced back rower. “It’s a test of character. People independently have to look and ask themselves if they could be doing more for the team and provide more.
“Personally I try to approach every game the same and never underestimate teams, but that’s me and I can’t speak for everyone else in the team.”
Halifax have been up with the Championship leaders all season and can make it a league double over the Eagles following a 30-28 win at the Shay.
A 29-16 loss to Keighley Cougars left the Eagles in mid-table but a second straight home defeat could dump them perilously close to the bottom-five relegation zone.
Knowles was the Eagles standout player in the Keighley game and remains mystified by the poor form at Owlerton that’s brought only two wins in front of their supporters in the Championship.
“It’s embarrassing personally and for the team. Every time we play at home it just doesn’t seem to go right,” he said. “We started off on fire (against Keighley), the first set scoring a great try – exactly what we planned to do – then it just fell to pieces again.”
He added: “We have lost a few players this season but we have fetched in quality so if anything we should have improved but we don’t seem to have.
”Every time we play away we seem to do well I can’t understand why we can’t do the same down here.
“You make errors, sometimes you try too hard and get annoyed with yourself. I don’t think it’s a lack of trying by other people I just don’t know what is going wrong but we’ll work hard to get out of it.”