Sheffield hooker Andrew Henderson has revealed that the Eagles players took a long look at themselves earlier this month, and realised that their season could be unravelling.
The Eagles’ poor home form and general inconsistency had them staring into the abyss of relegation.
“The focus now is to try and finish as high as we can in the table,” Henderson told Love Rugby League.
“We sat down and had a bit of chat as a club just after the loss against Batley, and we spoke about where we were. We had a bit of a reality check.
“We said as a group of players, ‘Hey look, we’re teetering on the brink here.’
“We knew that if we didn’t start to turn things around then we could be dragged into the relegation zone.
“So we didn’t put too much pressure on ourselves about where we finish. We just said to ourselves that we are where we are now, we know it hasn’t been the best season for a number of reasons.
“But we can’t change that. What we can change is how we finish the season.”
The Eagles’ aim now is to finish the regular season as strongly as possible, before heading into the play-offs with confidence.
“Our goal is to make the play-offs, and go from there,” he said.
“I’ve been talking to the players about taking it one step at a time. Every game is one step closer to the play-offs, regardless of how good the form is in the game, let’s focus on getting results and moving forward.
“We had an uncomfortable victory against Doncaster away, played in similar fashion against Swinton at home, but we saw slight improvement.
“Then we had an improved performance against Whitehaven, and a massively improved performance against Rochdale.
“I’m seeing progression from the team. We’re slowly but surely taking little steps forward towards the play-offs.”
Henderson remains optimisitic that the Eagles can end their campaign on a high, with two wins and a strong play-off campaign.
“If we bag those two wins, then we may get to the top four, which, to me, with what we’ve been through as a club, on and off the field, is a fantastic achievement,” he said.
“We generally seem to time our form to the back end of the season anyway, so I’d be pretty confident that we can go into those play-offs a dangerous team, and one with a lot of belief.”