Mark Percival insists that table-topping St Helens cannot afford to get complacent, despite their eight-point advantage at the top of the Betfred Super League.
Saints’ 40-12 victory away at Hull FC on Friday night, their 13th win in their last 14 matches, has left them needing just five wins from their remaining nine games to be mathematically sure of picking up the League Leaders Shield.
Justin Holbrook’s side ran in seven tries at the KCOM Stadium and have now scored over 700 points in Super League this year.
They have averaged over 33 points per game in 2019, four points per game more than last year when they finished top of the table after the regular season.
Nevertheless, with games still to come against play-off contenders Wigan, Warrington, St Helens and Castleford, Percival insists that his side need to keep fine-tuning their performances.
Speaking to the Saints official club website following their victory over Hull FC, he said: “It was tough and a bit similar to last week [against Warrington], going set for set in the early stages.
“We said it was going to be a hard game, they had a good team out and it was a real tough game and especially with the hostile crowd it was good to get the win.
“We need to keep building. Last week was a good win and we wanted to carry on doing that this week and we showed that, coming all the way to Hull and putting in a good performance.
“We have got some big games coming up so we need to keep focussed for them, but it is going good at the minute.”
Next up on the agenda for Saints is a home tie against high-flying Wigan in what will be the first non-televised derby in the Super League era.
After an indifferent set of results in recent months, the Warriors have hit form at the right time and are now fourth in the table, two points ahead of sixth-placed Castleford.
Percival admits that it will be a tough battle as they bid to extend their winning run to five.
“Wigan are coming good now, they are climbing up the table and they are a great side so to get a derby game at home next week is going to be brilliant,” said the 25-year-old.
“We are playing well, they are now playing well so it should be a really good game.”