With one win in 11 games, the Steve Weeks’ team sit second-bottom of the standings and five points adrift of Raiders IHC, the team in the eighth and final play-off spot.
In between the two sit Bees IHC, the team facing off against the Steeldogs’ in a home and away double-header this weekend and four points better off.
Weeks acknowledges that, with just 18 regular season games remaining, every game must be approached like the proverbial ‘cup final’.
Secure four points across the next two nights and the Dogs are back in the fight.
Take away nothing from the weekend and there is a real possibility the Steeldogs can kiss goodbye to their hopes of making the post-season.
Should that happen, their hope would be that Raiders IHC take nothing away from tough-looking road trips to Leeds Knights and Swindon Wildcats.
They will go into the road trip to Slough understandably low on confidence, particularly after last Sunday’s 11-2 hammering at Peterborough Phantoms, which came on the back of a 4-1 home defeat at the hands of Yorkshire rivals, Hull Seahawks.
“In the Peterborough game there were identifiable errors which we can address and which have hurt us in other games as well,” said head coach Weeks.
“We’re trying to gain a level of consistency where we’re producing a 60-minute performance every night.
“We are starting to see things click and we have identified this weekend as a huge opportunity. We kind of approach every game like a cup final now anyway but this weekend in particular, it is four points that can dramatically change things for us.”
In the five-game series between the two teams this season, each has won once. Weeks is aiming to go 3-1 up overall, but knows his team will have their work cut out.
“It’s never easy against them,” he added. “They are a well-organised, stubborn team to beat. But it’s a massive weekend for us because – ultimately it could be the difference between making the play-offs and not making the play-offs.
“It’s about keeping pace with those teams above us. We might not overtake anyone but if we drop the points this weekend then that gap will begin to look pretty large.
“If we can get the points, that will hopefully give us the belief to jump into the next games and approach those with a bit more confidence.”