WAKEFIELD TRINITY have been on an upward trajectory since Chris Chester took charge three years ago, but one poor run is threatening to erradicate all that good work.
Trinity were bottom of Super League when Chester was appointed in March, 2016, but qualified for the Super-8s and a Challenge Cup semi-final during his first season and have finished fifth in each of the years since.
They rose as high as third earlier in the current campaign, but will travel to leaders St Helens tonight on a run of eight defeats from their last nine league games which has seen them slide to ninth, only two points above bottom club London Broncos.
Wakefield have the toughest run-in of the five teams in relegation danger, facing the current top four, plus the bottom two of Hull KR and London. Chester is realistic about the situation his team are in, but also upbeat about their chances of pulling clear of danger.
Assessing the past two months, Chester conceded: “It has probably been the most challenging eight to 10 weeks I have had as a head coach.
“There have been times when I have questioned myself and done a lot of soul-searching, but we are still there in a half-decent spot.
“We have just got to make sure we get a couple of wins under our belt.”
That is easier said than done, given Trinity’s fixture list. Chester added: “The situation we are in is not great, but we are confident we will get out of this rut.
“These lads are putting the effort in, but I think where we are letting ourselves down is probably just trying too hard and trying individually to do things to try and lift the team. When confidence is low it sometimes doesn’t work, but the boys are fighting hard and everybody’s on the same page.”
Saints coach Justin Holbrook this week announced he will leave at the end of the season to join NRL side Gold Coast Titans and Chester admitted: “I don’t know if that is going to galvanise them and spur them on or whether they are going to be a bit down in the dumps.”
But he stressed: “I don’t think there’s ever a good time to play Saints, we just have to make sure we are ready to go.”