Paterson: Contract chatter should not be a distraction

Karl Harrison has still to offer deals to key stars, including Paul Handforth
Karl Harrison has still to offer deals to key stars, including Paul Handforth

Halifax threequarter Lee Paterson has said he “hopes” the club’s recent dip in form is not linked to the ongoing process of negotiating contracts for 2014.

But the 31 year old, the club’s longest serving player after joining them from Rochdale early in 2007, conceded the possibility cannot be ruled out after the manner of last week’s back-to-back losses at Leigh and Barrow.

Paterson is one of a clutch of senior players that Courier Sport understands have not yet been offered deals for next season.

It is believed that high profile half backs Paul Handforth and Anthony Thackeray - who has been heavily linked with Dewsbury - and the hookers Karl and Craig Ashall also fall into that category.

“I can see that sometimes it looks like it’s linked, but hopefully it’s not,” said Paterson, who played in the Matt Calland-coached side that lost five straight at the same time of year on their way to the 2009 Grand Final.

“In some players, I think contracts play on their minds, even it’s just subconsciously.

“I can only speak for myself, but I want to win silverware every year.

“If it’s my last year here, it’s my last year; It’s been great and I am just playing for now.

“I am not wondering ‘Am I going to get a contract?’ all the time.

“I think if we as a team let this season slide now, we are missing a massive opportunity because this is a top side.

“You don’t get many chances to win trophies and you need to try and take them.

“Some people are signed and they need to think ‘I have signed for a reason, so I need to kick on’.

“The ones that haven’t been signed, even if they’re not going to be here next year, they’re Halifax players this year and that should be enough.”

Whatever the cause of Fax’s recent malaise, Paterson is confident that it is not too late to rectify the situation.

“We’ve just got to buckle down, stay in that top four, and try and drag some form back into our game,” he said.

“I’m still confident we can still beat anyone on our day, but we’ve not got long to get our game back together now.

“I don’t think we are miles away, because we are still making good metres.

“It’s nothing we can’t put right but it need to be done soon.

“As a back player, you can’t go and get the ball.

“You have to rely on the half backs, there’s nothing you can do.

“It’s not like they’re not trying, but it’s not working at the moment and we need to come up with a plan.”