A SIEGE mentality in the wake of Rangi Chase’s suspension is not Denis Betts’ approach to securing Widnes Vikings’ Super League status.

The loss of the former England half-back 24 hours prior to Vikings’ Middle 8s opening home loss to Warrington Wolves, after he had tested positive for cocaine following a recent match against Wakefield, forced Betts into late changes that he admitted ‘affected’ his team’s performance.

Chase’s replacement Danny Craven ended up playing 80 minutes in his first game for 10 weeks, and with five other returning stars in the line-up Betts’ side ran out of steam in the last 20 minutes of a match in which Vikings failed to take chances they created.

Now Widnes head to Halifax on Sunday acknowledging each remaining game is a ‘must win’ but Betts says it is about him and his team focusing on what is required and not on the fall-out from Chase’s actions.

“We don’t need a siege mentality,” he said.

“We’re a good group of lads, we just need to pick the right side and get some confidence in each other.

“I think over the next couple of weeks we’ll see that.”

Betts’ thought process is on preparing his side to win at The Shay, not on a former Castleford, Salford and Leigh player whom he handed a lifeline in the sport after a colourful history.

“It’s frustrating because you see talent that you think has gone to waste,” said Betts.

“Rangi made some choices and it’s nothing to do with me. I gave him an opportunity and he’s got things in his life that he needs to sort out.

“I have no real feeling about it, to be honest.

"I’ve got to that point where it’s not something in my control, I can’t waste my time, I don’t waste my energy, I’ve got things that I need to sort out and people I need to work with and make better – and Rangi’s not one of them, so I don’t really waste emotional energy and worry about it.”

Betts is acutely aware that improving Championship outfit Halifax, who pushed full-timers Hull KR to the wire at the weekend, will present a huge challenge but he takes positives from returning players having now gained important game time leading into the tests ahead.

“We know the 8s it’s not won and lost with the first game,” he said.

“It was about performance levels that have steadily been getting better over the past couple of weeks.

“The lads who came back into the side really contributed.

"I thought Chris Houston was awesome, Chris Bridge was really good, Danny Craven was good until he fell off a bit of a cliff towards the end because he’s not played, trained or run for a number of weeks."

He added: “We’re running into must-win games now. They’re must-win games against the Championship sides.

"We know they’re going to be competitive, we know that the Championship sides are striving for something more while we’re trying to protect something we’ve got and that creates a different type of focus.”

Widnesian Shane Grady, ex-Vikings centre Steve Tyrer and former Super League stars Simon Grix and Will Sharp are among the familiar names in the Halifax ranks.

Betts said: “They’ve got some quality players in their team. They play with shape and understanding of what is required.

“Their place is always tough, it’s a different size pitch, a different environment, it’s a tough place to go and get a result at the best of times.

“We’re taking confidence out of the past two performances against Warrington and we seem healthy at the moment which is a positive.”