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Time to Wake up

Wildcats must take a long, hard look at own failings, says Stevo

Stevo Posted 20th April 2012 view comments

Wakefield must get out of their slump and start winning soon otherwise doom and gloom could smother them for a very long time.

Scoring tries doesn't seem to be a problem but they concede them far too easily and far too often. Richard Agar is no mug and I'm sure he's doing everything within his power to address and rectify that.

Tough to eclipse: but can Cockayne get one over Moon (pictured)?

Tough to eclipse: but can Cockayne get one over Moon (pictured)?

To be fair to Wakefield they have been absolutely shattered by injuries but they've hurt themselves with their own lack of discipline. They seem to get frustrated way too easily.

It's always difficult to analyse your own performance but the players have to get into a room on their own away from everybody and take a good, hard look at what is going on.

Once you get onto the back foot it can be very, very difficult to get your confidence back but that's the challenge that Agar and his players now face.

Stevo
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When you are down at the wrong end of the table and no-one's giving you a chance - not even your own fans - it's all too easy for air of gloom to descend.

When that happens in a club, people start looking for excuses and saying 'who do we blame? Do we point the finger at the coach, the three-quarters?' It happens. We're only human beings after all.

Confidence

My mind goes back to February's game at home to Bradford when they were in control for the first 40 minutes but fell apart in the second; Ben Jeffries worked out they were all over the shop in defence and pulled them apart with some precision kicking.

Now Agar is a very fine coach - he knows how to organise a defence - but there were a couple of occasions that day when the positional play left a lot to be desired.

There have been other times in the season when the opposing winger has picked up a kick with no-one anywhere near them in defence. That's the result of a clear lack of understanding.

Whether you like it or not, most of our game is based around that defensive line. You've got to make sure you don't give people an advantage at the play-the-ball area, while the kick and chase game is so important.

Once you get onto the back foot it can be very, very difficult to get your confidence back but that's the challenge that Agar and his players now face.

It's going to be very, very tough to turn things around but players like Ben Cockayne can help get them there.

He's a funny player, is Ben. He can produce so much wonderful stuff off the cuff - sometimes I wonder if even he knows what he's doing - and then at other times he loses his marbles and gives away a silly penalty. If he can cut that out of his game he's a genuine asset.

Talented

Wakefield's forwards have got to work that little bit harder but it won't be easy against a Salford side that has sorted itself out found a decent groove.

The Australian kid Joel Moon - who played for NZ Warriors last season - is very, very talented. He likes to play in the centre and has the ability to put himself in the right position but he is a very creative player as well.

Jodie Broughton's playing well, Ashley Gibson's a good player but they will miss Vinnie Anderson; his elbow injury will keep him out for about six to eight weeks, which is a big shame.

Luke Patten has already announced that he is going to retire at the end of the season and he'll want to go out on a high - he'll want to make the play-offs. That has to be Salford's objective now.

Star Man: Ben Cockayne

It's a tough call between the impressive Cockayne and Moon - these guys are definitely the two to keep a close eye on - but I've gone for Cockayne because I'm never quite sure what magic he might pull out on the day. Don't take your eyes off him!

Stevo says...

I'm expecting a very, very good game with plenty of points but I just can't see anything other than a Salford win - they should have enough power to come out on top in this one.

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