SO, no trip to Wembley this year unless we get to the 1895 Cup final.

Defeat to York City Knights 32-16 in the Challenge cup in front of the lowest crowd of the season (898) was disappointing but not surprising. We are still struggling to find form and although we came back strongly in the second half to within four points at 20-16, we just couldn’t get over the line when it mattered.

The Knights were much-changed and, with one eye on maintaining their impressive form in the league campaign, head coach James Ford rested a number of key players including ex-Super League pair Ben Cockayne and Graeme Horne. Toronto loan signing Nick Rawsthorne also pulled up with an injury in the pre-match warm up.

We should have taken advantage, but we had a poor first half trailing 18-6 at half time. The half-time team talk had an impact and at one point I thought we were going to do it.

We were never going to win the Challenge Cup, but we will lose important revenue as York have been handed a fifth-round tie against away to Widnes Vikings which could be worth around £30,000.

We must move on and focus all our efforts on Championship survival, starting with the short journey to the Leigh Sports Village tomorrow to play Leigh Centurions.

It wasn’t so long ago Leigh were in the financial mire and had to release the majority of their players. Since then, they have sorted themselves out with the arrival of Cumbrian Greg McNally, who has returned from Bradford Bulls, and the experienced Martin Ridyard from Featherstone.

Other quality signings include Jonny Pownall, who had a spell on loan at Barrow last season, Stefan Marsh from Widnes and Jake Emmitt from Toronto Wolfpack. They also have a dual-registration agreement with St Helens, and winger Adam Swift and prop Luke Douglas have been named in tomorrow’s squad.

It's a pretty impressive squad hoping to continue their path to the play-offs and they must be confident as we have not had great results at the Sports Village, losing twice last season 46-18 in April and 38-0 in August.

After Leigh we have a weekend off, but then it's Toronto at Craven Park on Good Friday followed by Bradford away on Easter Monday. Then it's Featherstone at home followed by Halifax away.

By then we will know the size of the task and it will be absolutely imperative we beat the teams around us in the second half of the season. The board will have to make some crucial decisions, particularly on recruitment ,if we are still struggling and although dual-registration is not favoured we might have no choice.

After listening to Gary Hetherington, CEO of Leeds Rhinos, on the subject I can see the advantages providing its about providing vital experience to young players transitioning from the academy to the first team.

Let’s hope we don’t have to make that call.