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Keighley Cougars boss Jason Demetriou targets top-three finish
Jason Demetriou believes tomorrow’s home clash with high-flying Sheffield Eagles represents another golden opportunity for Cougars to prove they can compete with the best in the Championship.
Keighley gave a good account of themselves in last weekend’s Carnegie Challenge Cup fourth-round tie against Warrington, who won 44-18 but never looked like repeating their 80-0 win of last season.
Now Demetriou, who is back in contention along with Brendon Rawlins and Jy-mel Coleman, has urged his players to perform again in the league.
The player-coach said: “Last week against Warrington was a good occasion and a good crowd and the players really enjoyed it. But it’s back to the main focus of the Championship now and we want to stay on a roll.
“We’ve come up against three of the top teams in Featherstone, Halifax and Batley and competed well against them all.
“We took losing bonus points from Featherstone and Halifax and we won at Batley.
“Sheffield are the next team in that group and they’ve been scoring a lot of points in the last few weeks but we are looking to beat them and cement a place in the top three.”
The Eagles are currently second after enjoying an amazing 60-40 win at Challenge Cup giant-killers Featherstone last time out in the league.
But Cougars will go into the match with confidence after a ringing endorsement from Warrington coach Tony Smith last weekend.
Demetriou explained: “Tony came into the changing room after the game and was very complimentary about our defence. He said it was better than some of the Super League sides they have faced.
“Obviously their strength and skill came to the fore, which comes from being full-time, but they didn’t tear us apart and there was certainly a massive improvement from last year.
“That’s testament to the players we have brought in and also the guys who were here last year and helped us to get promoted.
Demetriou will rotate his squad over the coming weeks and added: “Myself, Brendon Rawlins and Jy-mel Coleman will be back this weekend.
“It’s important over the next four to five weeks to give players game time and the rotation of the squad will make sure everyone gets an opportunity.”