Halifax boss Richard Marshall has said he will take no risks with the fitness of captain Scott Murrell ahead of Sunday’s Championship Shield fixture against Workington (3.0).
Murrell missed Tuesday night’s training session with a knee injury, and while Marshall admitted his skipper would be “desperate” to play against the relegated Cumbrians - who come into the game fresh from a stunning home win over Bradford - the coach already has one eye on the following week’s make or break semi final.
“Scott’s got a sore knee and while I know he’ll desperately want to play, because that’s his character, we need to be mindful and sensible with our selections this week,” said Marshall, who said the same policy would apply to threequarters Ben Heaton (knee) and Chester Butler (hip), who both finished the 28-26 loss at Swinton last week in the dugout.
“We’ve got a very important game the following week, probably against Sheffield, and that’s the priority.
“Yes, we want to win this week and try and generate some momentum, but it’s a double edged sword; if people are not 100 per cent ready this week then they won’t play.”
Marshall is expected to add centre Ed Barber and playmaker Connor Robinson to his squad, while winger James Saltonstall could also figure if he recovers from a foot injury sustained in the reserve team fixture at St Helens last Friday.
Tactically, Fax look likely to adopt a more structured approach after a largely sterile attacking performance against the Lions.
“We didn’t do enough in that first half against Swinton and we need to start putting teams under the pump a lot more,” said Marshall.
“We’ll have a more structured approach with the ball this week; I like players to be able to play what they see, but we’re not playing well enough to do that at the moment.
“It’s a complicated issue, there’s a lot of things that feed into that.
“I don’t think our half backs are playing into the line enough, but at the same time that’s harder when you’re not coming off quick play the balls.
“We’ve got some middle players playing on the edges, which impacts on the lines we’re running there and the way we’re performing in the middle.
“But we can’t just magic players up out of nowhere.
“We’ve got some injuries and that means players playing out of position at the moment.”