Grix eyes back to back wins as focus shifts to long term goals

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Boss Simon Grix wants his side to start to generate some ‘momentum’ for 2020 as this season’s Championship enters its final phase.

Fax, who beat Widnes 40-10 last weekend to cap their losing streak at six matches, head to Dewsbury on Sunday (3.0) adrift in mid-table, eight points off the play off places and a similar distance clear of the relegation scrap.

And with just six league fixtures remaining - plus the small matter of the club’s first Challenge Cup semi final since 1988 against St Helens in little over a week’s time - Grix already has one eye on next year.

“We’ve got a lot to play for over the next few weeks, collectively and as individuals,” said Grix.

“Probably half the squad are out of contract, so people are playing for their jobs, and as a group we’ve got some pride in the shirt and our reputations.

“There are some players I’ve already had conversations with about next year, and some of those have been difficult, but the door is open for the majority of them to earn contracts if they find some form over the next few weeks.

“We won’t be carried away with what we did against Widnes, but we certainly had more confidence and purpose about us.

“We need to finish on a high now and take that momentum into the off season with us, so there’s some optimism about what we’re doing for next season.

“We probably got used to losing in the Qualifiers last summer and I’d like to go into this winter with a winning habit.

“If you look at what York have done this year, riding the wave coming out of League 1, it shows how important that is.

“We never really caught that wave this year and we need to try and change that.

“Dewsbury are going to be the same as they always are; a massive, physical team who know how to play their own field very well.

“We need to pick up where we left off against Widnes and play direct and play fast and move those big bodies of theirs around the field a little bit.”

Fax seem likely to have a similar look to the side that beat the Vikings, with Grix’s brother, Scott, the only confirmed absentee with a torn calf.

Winger Will Sharp, back rower Liam Cooper and young guns Connor Davies and Reece Chapman-Smith, who all missed out, could come back into contention.

“There might be a couple of changes, because we’ve still got players who played on Sunday who need to do better,” said Grix.

“I thought both the wingers, James Saltonstall and Shaun Robinson, were outstanding though and Chester Butler came back in and staked his claim for a place in the side.”

One player who won’t be involved for either side is Fax winger Conor McGrath, who has played the last two games for the Rams on loan.

“Conor will sit this one out, but he’ll play in their next game and then his month will be up and he’ll come back to us,” said Grix.

“I want to have a look at him for next season in the next few weeks, but this has been the right move for him and his development.”