Aston tries to conjure up a win

Injured: Jack Howieson
Injured: Jack Howieson

SHEFFIELD Eagles’ coach Mark Aston is struggling to find the ‘magic formula’ that keeps sparking big second-half comebacks from his team.

The last two games have seen the Eagles battle back from being around 20 points down.

At Barrow they had to settle for a losing bonus point but on Sunday they went one better to beat Batley 28-26.

The dramatic reversals have left Aston happy but seeking answers.

“If I knew that I’d be a magic man,” he said. “I don’t know, but they came out with a different attitude in the second half, lots more resolve.

“At half-time I wasn’t happy but I didn’t lose my cool with them. I was very honest and direct with the lads and just changed a few things.”

The win over Batley keeps the Eagles on track for a top four finish and the advantage of a home game going into the Championship play-offs.

They need results from the their final two league games starting with the visit of league leaders Featherstone Rovers to Bramall Lane on Sunday.

Aston has hammered home the message that his players can’t afford to give free-scoring Rovers an early lead

“The players have to get themselves up for it at the start of the game and in the last couple of weeks they have been a bit disappointing,” he said. “It’s not down to what we’re doing in training or the coaches, it’s down to individuals and I don’t know the magic formula to make sure they start the game correctly.”

A boost for Aston was the return of full back Jonny Woodcock who had no adverse reaction after playing 50 minutes against Batley following 16 months with a knee injury.

On the debit side the Eagles could be without skipper Jack Howieson for the Featherstone game. The Scottish international prop forward came off in the second half at the weekend with a hamstring strain.

Aston said: “We got Jack off quickly.

“It may just be a tweak but we’ll be monitoring it during the week.”