WIDNES Vikings are homing in on their first target of the season - to get to zero following the 12-point deduction.

The travel to Rochdale on Sunday, buoyed by their two home wins over Featherstone and Bradford - but will do so without star centre Anthony Gelling who has been granted a fortnight's leave.

Vikings boss Kieron Purtill admitted that the upheaval of the past three weeks has taken its toll - but they are sticking to their guns, a game at a time.

Purtill said: “The last few weeks is still taking its toll on us, but this week it is just getting back to normal and we need to just get some consistency in training and for the full 80 minutes as well.

“We are chipping away at the negative points mark and are not far off now. It is no secret that zero is our first goal and we are within touching distance of it now.

“What we have got to do is get ready for another tough game next week.”

He paid tribute to the spirit that runs through the club, helped by the fact that a good number have come up through the ranks at Widnes.

Purtill said: "I have a really good core group of senior guys and they care about what they do.

"And then we have all the young guys who have come through the system here.

"When you have a core of players who have come through like that - they care a bit more for the club.

"They are bonding together and working hard. They all want to see the club succeed and be back where it belongs - which is Super League.

"Hopefully that is not too far off in the future for us all."

He admitted that getting used to the way some opposition play in the Championship is a big challenge for his side, and coping with the way Bradford Bulls slowed things down on Sunday was part of that learning curve.

"We are still finding our feet in that and have got some young guys who find this a different experience every week.

"We have got to take lessons from it and learn from it and adapt.

"Fortunately we had enough in the tank to come away with the win."

He saw real positives in the way the Vikings halves are knitting together and getting the team around the park.

Both Danny Craven and Tom Gilmore impressed in the win over Bulls.

"The halves are really complementing each other.

"Danny is a bit more off the cuff and floats around with a fantastic kicking game and has probably been the stand out half in the comp this year so far.

"Gilly just goes about his business - gets us around the park and takes a bit of pressure off Danny.

"They are working well together and the more games they can play together, the better they will get and the more consistent the team will get," he said.