ACTING captain Nick Scruton admits he has to stand up for embattled Wakefield Trinity.
The former England prop will lead them out in a crucial game against Bradford Bulls this afternoon as their fight for Super League survival intensifies.
Troubled Wakefield, who finished bottom with just three wins all season, lost their opening Qualifiers game at Salford last weekend and, therefore, can ill-afford to slip up against their highly-fancied Championship opponents today.
Scruton, who joined from Bradford at the start of last season, said: “I’ve got some extra responsibility now having been made captain with Kirmo (Danny Kirmond) out injured.
“I’ve enjoyed that but I need to find my top form now.
“In these next few games it’s up to us forwards to really lay a platform, myself included.
“I really need to play my best rugby of the season now, starting this week. I think a few of the boys are thinking on the same lines.”
Scruton, 30, added: “I had a good six years at Bradford, loved every minute – the good times and plenty of bad times, too.
“But it was time for me to move on and I’ve not looked back since I got to Wakefield.
“I’ll certainly be doing my best to get the win for them this week,” he said.
“We need to pick some victories up quickly so these next two games (today and then at Leigh a week later) are massive for us.
“This is just about a must-win game for us; we’re pretty desperate for it. Bradford will be as well.”
Scruton, who won a Grand Final with Leeds Rhinos in 2008, is expecting a fierce battle with his former Bradford front-row colleague Adam Sidlow.
“I think he is one of their main men up front and has been for a couple of years now,” said the Yorkshireman.
“He plays big minutes, really leads their team, takes them forward but they’ve quality all over.”
Wakefield coach Brian Smith was brought in from Australia to try to revive Trinity’s season.
They have won just one of eight games under his command so far but Scruton insists progress has been made.
“He is quite similar to Tony,” he said, referring to Smith’s younger brother who was the player’s coach at Leeds.
“He is quite ruthless and strict, there’s no messing about. That’s what we needed really, someone to come in, grab it by the scruff of its neck and say ‘this is the way we’re going, if you don’t want to be part of this you’re gone’.
“We’ve six more games to do that now.”