Thackeray looks for Widnes revival

Widnes’ Anthony Thackeray is hoping the Vikings can return to winning ways ahead of their Northern Rail Cup quarter-final clash against Barrow Raiders at The Stobart Stadium on Thursday.

The Vikings go into the game on the back of three consecutive defeats in the Co-operative Championship, but Thackeray sees the game as the perfect opportunity for them to turn their form around. 

Thackeray said: “We’ve got our backs against the wall a bit at the moment, and are coming off a few bad results.

“We’re going to have to really turn it up if we’re going to get to the semis. We have had a lot of injuries and that does take its toll, but at the start of the season we were still picking up wins.

“But we don’t want to make excuses – we just haven’t been good enough.

“We’ve got to get together as a team and as a group of lads, and there’s no better way to do that than to get a win against good opponents. It’s a really important game for us, and hopefully we can get a job done.”

The Northern Rail Cup quarter-final with Barrow marks a repeat of last year’s final in which Thackeray starred in a 34-18 win at Bloomfield Road and the 24-year old is determined to continue Vikings’ impressive record in the competition.

“I don’t remember too much about playing in it – the main thing I remember is the end of game celebrations, the good memories,” said Thackeray.

“It’s up there in my top three career highlights. The main one was making my debut in Super League for my hometown club Hull – but last year’s Northern Rail Cup win was on a par with winning the National League One Grand Final with Castleford, definitely.

“The Northern Rail Cup’s like a mini Challenge Cup. It’s a chance for teams outside of Super League to get their hands on some silverware – you don’t get too many of those,” added the former Castleford Tigers and Hull FC half-back.

“The fans turn out at Blackpool, it’s always a hot day in July, and it just makes for a great event.”

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