WIDNES Vikings’ attention switches to the Challenge Cup on Saturday with the first time visit Coventry Bears.

After a tough few weeks in Super League, the switch to face the League 1 minnows should give Vikings some respite.

But nevertheless coach Denis Betts will be showing the opposition respect.

Betts said: “The boys know that every place is up for grabs and they need to earn their selection.

“At this stage though, I think we’ll be featuring a number of our senior players and be putting a strong team out.

“A win will give the players confidence and momentum, and this is a good opportunity to put our plays together well ahead of an important Super League tie against Wigan the following week.

“I fully expect the likes of Rhys Hanbury, Danny Craven and Matt Whitley to feature.

“I also plan to give the established younger lads who have been out of the team in a couple of the recent games, like Danny Walker, a run out too. Owen Farnworth performed well in his home debut against Hull FC, so he’ll be difficult to leave out.”

He revealed that big wing Pat Ah Van has returned to full training and is set to play, as is another long-term casualty Lloyd White.

“Obviously, Pat was in fantastic form until he broke his arm, so he’ll be looking to pick up where he let off,” Betts said.

“This could be a great game for him to get back to competitive action ahead of our next Super League rounds.

“Lloyd has been really unlucky this year, and after a few disappointments with injuries is desperate to return to the team.

“He knows that there’s plenty of competition from Aaron Heremaia, Jordan Johnstone and Danny Walker for that starting hooker position, so he’ll be looking to impress.”

The game could see a debut for Papua New Guinea packman Stanton Albert, who has taken time to settle, get used to the plays and reach full fitness after missing most of the pre-season.

Betts said: “He has had to be patient.

“His experience of going on game-by-game loans to North Wales Crusaders has been useful, and this is the right time for him to make his debut.

“With Wellington having gone some way to establishing himself in the first team, I’d expect to see a bit of competition from the younger brother, who has been kicking his heels on the sidelines.”

After a gruelling Easter - and with an eye on the week after against Wigan - Betts will take the chance to rest the likes of Joe Mellor and Aaron Heremaia who have played long-minutes during a tough period.

Although they are due players back, the injuries, alas, continue to pile up with Gil Dudson and Keanan Brand ruled out with long-term injuries.

Now Chris Dean (bicep) and Chris Houston (leg) are out for a spell.

Vikings take on Coventry on Saturday (1pm).

Advance tickets: £10, £5 concs and U16s are free (if with a paying adult).