WIDNES boss Denis Betts said the tough run of big games the team faces over the next four weeks will define the season.
With just one win from the last eight Super League encounters, Vikings go into Friday night’s game with Warrington needing a win to preserve their place in the top eight.
But after being edged out by Wakefield last week, Betts believes his team can rise to face the challenges ahead – in three crunch league matches and then the Challenge Cup semi final against Castleford.
Betts said: “Our start has really helped us to sit where we are because our form has not been great over the last month or so.
“We need to get some points because those around us are picking up wins.
“Next month is massive when you look where we are in the table and what we have coming up – Warrington, St Helens, Hull KR and then the semi – it is a month that could define our year.
“But that is the challenge we want to be in that situation where we are fighting for a position in the play offs and the Challenge Cup final rather than fighting to stay in the league.
“It's a good challenge for the players but you get the feeling it can bring the best out of these lads.”
Vikings only have posted only one victory – that against the winless London Broncos – since they made it through to the cup semi final.
It is a worrying dip in form, but Betts in confident that they can pick it back up.
“The lads work really hard in training. We don't need to change anything, we just need to do certain things better,” Betts said.
Vikings will be without Phil Joseph who has been banned for one game, with Hep Cahill and Stef Marsh effectively cautioned for incidents in the same game.
They have Cameron Phelps back on board after a head knock in a game that will test the Vikings mettle.
Betts said: “They have won ten in a row and it will be a tough test for us.
“But you would rather it that way because we know we will have to play better, over all our attack needs to be as better against Warrington and defence has to be as good.”