Clarke: Play-offs is natural progression for Widnes

Widnes captain Jon Clarke says reaching the play-offs this season is the natural progression the club has to take.

The Vikings improved from their bottom-placed finish in 2012 to finish 10th last season, and have added Danny Tickle, Paul Johnson and Ben Galea to their squad in the off-season, as well as signing Rhodri Lloyd on loan from Wigan.

They start their campaign against one of Clarke’s former clubs, London, at home on Sunday.

Clarke said: “I think the players we have signed have added value to the club, and although we’ve lost the likes of Gareth Hock and Ben Cross, we’re probably in a better position than last year.

“My personal philsophy is that you don’t make wholesale changes.

“I like the way Denis has done it here, he’s took bits out and added others.

“Great sports teams are built over years and years, so for Widnes to be progressing the way they are is good.

Denis shows a lot of confidence in the younger players, and a perfect example is Joe Mellor who excelled last year.

“Joe has got the x factor and he is exciting to play alongside.

“London are an unknown entity but I think that makes them dangerous. Players can buy into a situation such as theirs, and come out fighting.

“The aim has to be top 8. It is no secret that we want to be in the play-offs, it is the natural progression that the club has to take.”

Widnes won 10 and drew two of their 27 games last season, finishing four points shy of Hull KR in the final play-off spot.

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