DEWSBURY RAMS boss Lee Greenwood wants his side to put a run of form together and finish the season on a high, despite admitting they will be underdogs in each of their final five fixtures.
Their defeat of bottom-placed Rochdale last weekend means they sit five points clear of Barrow in the other relegation place as the Championship season draws to a close.
The Rams also leapfrogged both Widnes and local rivals Batley in the process to move into 10th place in the table, ahead of Sunday’s home tie against play-off contenders Featherstone (kick-off 3pm).
Greenwood doesn’t believe that his team are safe just yet, but expects them to continue their run of performances through to the end of the season regardless.
“We’ve now got a run of fixtures where we’re pretty much underdogs in every game,” he said, assessing a run-in that will also feature Batley, Bradford, Toulouse and Widnes.
“If Barrow pull a couple of good results off and we don’t pick up any results then it takes a different complexion, but we can only do what we can do.”
Their recent form has seen them defeat Barrow and Rochdale, hold Halifax to a draw and lose by just one score at both York and Sheffield.
“We feel like we’ve turned a corner and I wouldn’t say we’ve put five 80-minute performances in, but we’ve done what needed to be done.
“We’ve put the effort in and it’s been good enough to get the points in a couple of the games and against Rochdale we did enough in the second half to get the required result. We want to carry on.
“We’ve got five games left now and we want to make sure that we’re competitive in every single one of them, and that will mean we’ve gone our last 10 games in decent form, which Dewsbury don’t tend to do.
“They tend to have a couple of games on and then one off and so on, so if we can get that consistency for the last five games, that would mean we’ve had a 10-game finish.”
Featherstone have won nine of their last 11 matches to earn their spot in the top five, but the Rams pulled off a surprise victory in the reverse fixture back in March when they won 32-22 away at their West Yorkshire rivals.
“They’re aiming for the top five and I’d be surprised if they didn’t get in it,” said Greenwood. “They’ll come looking for a bit of revenge after we beat them at their place.
“We’ve got the confidence that we can beat Featherstone. There will be different players on the pitch for both teams but I’d say there will be a good number that played in that game as well.
“We should take heart and confidence from that so let’s be competitive and give them a good game and see what happens going into the final stages. In these games that’s what our aim is, and if that is then good enough to get some points out of it then fantastic.”
Featherstone have won on each of their last four visits to the Tetley’s Stadium, with Dewsbury’s last home victory against Rovers coming by a single point in 2014.
Half-back Paul Sykes picked up a knock to his knee in the Rochdale win, with the club hoping that it isn’t a reoccurrence of the injury that saw him miss over two months of the season.
Prop Jode Sheriffe also has a knee issue which could see him miss the weekend’s clash, while Robbie Ward (ankle) is not yet ready for a return.