Hawkins insists the Premier League play-offs are ‘not an impossible dream’ despite Ipswich Witches’ bad start

On the truck: The Witches ahead of the parade for the Peterborough v Ipswich (Premier League) match

On the truck: The Witches ahead of the parade for the Peterborough v Ipswich (Premier League) match at East of England Showground, Peterborough, UK on 30 May 2016. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ritchie Hawkins insisted making the Premier League play-offs is ‘not an impossible dream’ for Ipswich Witches and is confident his current crop of riders are the ones who can make it happen.

Monday night’s 56-36 reverse at Peterborough was the Foxhall side’s fourth defeat in five Premier League meetings, which leaves the Witches second bottom of the table, seven points off the top six.

Despite high expectations in pre-season the Witches’ strong-on-paper top five have failed to fire as one in 2016, while the reserves have also found the going tough, but Hawkins still has faith in his current septet and doesn’t see a need for changes.

The team had a frank discussion following Monday night’s loss and Hawkins is confident he and his riders are all pulling in the right direction.

“It’s all a little confusing because I thought we’d turned the corner on things a little and that our hard work had started to pay off, but we just seemed to drop back into our old bad habits,” he said.

“We had it all out on the table after Monday’s meeting, I put my views across and they put their views across, and we talked about how we can put things right. We have to focus on the next fixture as there’s nothing we can do about the past, but we know none of us have been good enough and I include myself in that as the team manager. We’re an eight-man team.

“We have given ourselves a lot of work to do to make the play-offs, we know that, but we wouldn’t be the first team to have been bad in May but to have made the play-offs in September. It’s possible for sure.

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“I know the current team are capable of it, we have faith in them, it’s just whether they believe it themselves really. It’s not an impossible dream and I’ve told them I believe they can get us there.

“We’ve given the rest of the league a head start in the first few weeks of the season but it would be so much sweeter to come from behind and win than to lead from the front.

“It’s up to us to make it happen.”

A busy June starts with home fixtures against Redcar (Saturday) and Glasgow before away visits to Edinburgh, Berwick and Newcastle, with Hawkins confident his side can get their season started this month.

“It’s a busy month for sure and it’s an important one for us,” he said.

“We have a lot of away matches up north but there are winnable ones there. We have to do it at some point and it has to happen now.

“It’s a tough league but there are winnable matches and we need to go out there and do it.”