23rd June 2018, 07:14 | super_league

Cummins believes Widnes are trying too hard

Cummins believes Widnes are trying too hard

Widnes Vikings interim head coach Francis Cummins admits his players are struggling with the anxiety of trying to end their losing run in Betfred Super League.

The Vikings have lost their last 10 games and appear destined for another battle for survival in the Qualifiers.

Widnes are bottom of the table and nine points adrift of eighth-placed Huddersfield Giants with only six matches remaining.

Cummins, who is still waiting for his first win since taking over from Denis Betts at the end of last month, has called on his team to stick together.

“Players are trying too hard,” he said. “There are aspects of our game that need to improve and we've been working on those for the last two weeks.

“I expected to see bigger improvements, and we're almost demanding that.

“It's the anxiety of it. Most of these lads have come through the ranks, they live nearby or have been here for a long time. They're desperate to do well.

“But they've got to do it through the way we play, not going out on their own and chasing too hard, the ‘I'll fix it, boys' attitude. We've got to fix it together.”

Widnes' next opportunity to end their poor run of results comes against Chris Chester’s Wakefield Trinity at Belle Vue on Sunday, a repeat of Betts' final game in charge.

Cummins expects Trinity to be a better version of the side that won that clash 19-6.

“They're a big set in the middle and they're very quick outside,” he said.

“I think Chez has not only recruited really well but they do play and open up. When they do, look out.

“We played them a few weeks ago here and while I thought we were terrible, they were quite poor.

“But they still got over us because we just gave them the ball and there are some big things there who can just fall over the line.

“Sometimes by playing someone a few weeks ago it's fresh in the mind. We'll look at how we need to play and need to deliver what we practice.”

Widnes will get no sympathy from Wakefield, who are aiming to secure their top-eight place after a disappointing result against Warrington Wolves last time out.

Trinity assistant coach Lee Gilmour said: “They've got a new interim coach in Franny Cummins who'll be looking to get his first win on the board.

“We don't know what sort of mentality they've got. Whether they've decided they're planning for the middle eights or feel they can go on a run.

“The main thing is, no matter what attitude they've got towards this game, they're going to need some sort of form and belief come those middle eights.

“So there's a big onus on the start of the game. We can't afford to do what we did against Warrington, where you give Widnes a sniff that there’s a chance we’re not quite on the money.

“We need to let Widnes know straight away that we're here to play today. We're looking to do a big number on them.”