'I don’t want to leave on a whimper, I want to go out smiling': Head coach Simon Grix is confident Halifax Panthers can still end the season on a high

Halifax Panthers head coach Simon Grix says his side has the quality to make the play-offs despite slipping down the table after Sunday’s defeat by Widnes Vikings.
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Grix believes the Panthers have put themselves in a position where they will “probably need to win every game” between now and the end of the regular season in order to make the top six.

Speaking after Sunday’s match, which he described as a “cut and paste” of the first 20 minutes during last week’s defeat against London Broncos, he said: “Although it’s hard to swallow, we just haven’t been able to get out of the cycle of bloopers this season.”

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He added: “You get what you deserve in the end, and we just haven’t been mentally good enough for long enough.”

Halifax Panthers head coach Simon GrixHalifax Panthers head coach Simon Grix
Halifax Panthers head coach Simon Grix

The season has been an inconsistent one for the Panthers and Grix knows his team are physically up to the challenge, but mental scars of past defeats could be a contributing factor.

“It’s not a physical thing, they’re a tough team. It comes down mental resilience,” he said.

“We just have to keep pushing them, keep trying to be positive and remind them of the quality they have in that room.

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"Hopefully a penny drops and we get a good end to the season.”

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Looking ahead to his last few weeks with the club before leaving, he is confident the team has what it takes to end the season on a high, and he wants to depart with the club in a good position.

“I don’t want to leave on a whimper or a fade out," he said.

“I’m not just happy with winning the 1895 Cup. I want to go out smiling.”

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Joe Keyes has returned to the side after missing a long period of the season through injury and Grix praised the half back.

“I thought he was great today after being out for so long, I think he had quite a good hand in the game,” Grix said.

Looking forward to next weekend’s trip to Whitehaven, a notoriously difficult place to visit, Grix is relishing the prospect of a tough game and is confident his side can deliver.

“I’m glad it’s a tough one, the tougher the game generally brings the better out of us more often than not,” he said.