HONEST-TALKING Wakefield Trinity head coach Chris Chester admits his side have had to re-set their goals ahead of tonight’s Super 8s opener at his former club Hull FC.
The West Yorkshire club, who finished fifth last term, begin the next stage of the season in seventh spot, eight points outside the top-four.
Chester acknowledges it is too much of a gap to now claw back.
He said: “Our goal at the start of the season was the top-four.
“We’ve reset that and we now want a top-six finish.
“We know how important that is for the club financially and we’ve a great opportunity to do it.
They are having a tough spell, but will be wanting to turn it around and finish the season on a high note themselves.Chris Chester
“We want to finish the season strongly and win more games than we lose.
“We are fighting above our weight and finishing fifth or sixth would be a successful season for us; there’s still a lot to play for.”
If they avoid defeat tonight they could make up further ground.
It was just three weeks ago that Wakefield inflicted a record 72-10 defeat on Lee Radford’s side at Belle Vue – hinting at just what they are capable of when firing.
But Chester – who won the Challenge Cup with the Black and Whites in 2005 – insisted: “We’re certainly not expecting the same Hull team that turned up that day.
“They had a few guys who shouldn’t have played and they’ll have a few back Friday.
“They are having a tough spell, but will be wanting to turn it around and finish the season on a high note themselves.”
Chester already has one eye on 2019 and growing his side in readiness for that.
The building blocks are certainly in place; only prolific leaders St Helens boast a better attack than Trinity among the Super 8s sides while Wakefield’s defence is rated fifth best.
He observed: “We are seventh and we’re the only team outside the top-four with a positive points difference.
“It’s crazy. That comes down to the close games we’ve narrowly been beaten in. The challenge for us next year is to make sure we are closing those games out.”
With tonight’s fixture expected to be far closer than that last one between these rivals, Chester’s side could get an early chance to quickly show that they are already learning that crucial process. However, Hull have an impressive home record against them, winning the last five games at KCOM Stadium dating back to 2014.