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Warrington Wolves' cup heroes cannot afford to let performances slip
Wolves will have to avoid a case of 'after the Lord mayors show' in the weeks after their Challenge Cup success
WOLVES boss Tony Smith believes there is no danger of his side letting their intensity drop as they head into the final fortnight of the regular Super League season.
Following the huge effort required to win their third Challenge Cup honour in four years against a determined Leeds side – and with little hope of altering their final league position – there is potential for Wolves to let their minds wander to the forthcoming play offs instead of focusing on the games against Huddersfield and Widnes.
But Smith has dismissed the idea that Wolves could be prone to a late-season slump in form, simply because none of his squad can afford to let their individual performances drop if they wish to retain their spots for the more important games to come.
“I wouldn’t like to think that there is a danger of dropping off because second place is secure,” he said.
“I can’t see that really being the case. We’re in good shape and we have a lot of people available to us right now.
“That certainly helps us in terms of the choices we have in each position, but it also puts pressure on people to perform because of the competition for places.”
Smith also dismissed the clichéd opinion that teams who have just won the cup are prone to a drop in form in the immediate aftermath of the final, again pointing towards the fact that his side are in arguably the best position out of all of Super League’s top sides in terms of their injury list.
“I am not sure that it is difficult to pick yourselves up again for Super League,” he said.
“We certainly did it the week after the final in 2010. Again, we are in a very good place to be and could be a lot worse injury-wise.
“Some teams are in that bracket of having problems with injuries, but we have avoided that so far.”
As it stands only Ben Westwood (medial ligament) and Ben Harrison (dead leg) could miss the visit of Huddersfield Giants on Sunday, kick off 3pm, due to injuries sustained in the 35-18 Challenge Cup victory.
And that gives Smith plenty of options as he prepares his side for a Giants side that he believes is starting to pick itself up after the recent shake-up of the coaching staff, which saw Nathan Brown step down to be replaced by Paul Anderson.
“They have endured a few changes in personnel in the coaching and the playing ranks,” he said.
“They will be a dangerous team that can perform very well and I am sure that they have every intention of coming here and causing us problems, so we will prepare for their best.”