The Super 8s get underway with a blockbuster tomorrow as Saints head over to the Mend-A-Hose Jungle to face Castleford.
Justin Holbrook’s men are just a point behind the top four and a win would take them third on the ladder.
But they take on an in-form Tigers that are yet to be beaten at home.
“To draw Cas first up is as tough as you can get,” he said. “They are sitting first too but it is a game we are looking forward to. I am are happy with how we are playing and I’m looking forward to a tough game on Thursday.
“We have clawed ourselves back into the mix and had to win three in a row to do that. We aren’t there just yet but we are in striking distance. We know if we win our games we will make the semis. A few weeks ago it was ifs and buts so it is encouraging and gives us a lot of confidence heading into this period.
“Cas have been the form side and play a great style. It is really well structured too but people don’t realise that. They all know what they are doing and have been doing that from pre-season. They all know their roles and how they play.
“They are a gutsy team too as they have won some close ones recently.
“I am looking forward to the boys playing them on Thursday. We have improved a lot as a team and it will be a good game. They have been streets ahead of others but we have fought our way into the second best points for and against and that is a positive for our team. We will keep working hard and if we can get a win it puts us in a good spot.
“I have real confidence in our defence and it has to be right for the whole game. The way we are playing I feel we have a good chance.”
Holbrook says Matty Smith has an outside chance of featuring this Thursday after suffering that horrific eye injury against Leeds in June.
Luke Douglas, however, will miss out.
“Matty is going really well and is in full training,” Justin added. “He has an outside chance of playing and we will have to see how he goes this week.
“Danny (Richardson) has been playing great and has combined with Theo (Fages) really well. He delivered for us against Wakefield and there is no reason he won’t stay there if Matty gets cleared and is right to play.
“He (Matty) has to earn it – but he is a quality player as well. It is a good luxury to have.
“Luke picked up an injury against Wakefield so will miss a few games with a knee injury. He suffered it early in the match but played on.”
Matty Smith returns to the squad after suffering an eye injury in the game at Leeds in June whilst Luke Douglas misses out with a knee problem.
Justin Holbrook will choose his 17 from:
1. Jonny Lomax, 2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Ryan Morgan, 4. Mark Percival, 6. Theo Fages, 7. Matty Smith, 8. Alex Walmsley, 9. James Roby, 10. Kyle Amor, 12. Jon Wilkin, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 16. Luke Thompson, 17. Tommy Lee, 18. Dominique Peyroux, 20. Morgan Knowles, 24. Danny Richardson, 28. Regan Grace, 32. Matty Lees, 36. Zeb Taia.
Daryl Powell will choose his 17 from:
1. Zak Hardaker, 2. Greg Minikin, 4. Michael Shenton, 7. Luke Gale, 8. Andy Lynch, 9. Paul McShane, 10. Grant Millington, 11. Oliver Holmes, 12. Mike McMeeken, 13. Adam Milner, 14. Nathan Massey, 15. Jesse Sene-Lefao, 16. Ben Roberts, 18. Matt Cook, 20. Larne Patrick, 21. Joel Monaghan, 23. Tom Holmes, 25. Jy Hitchcox, 34. Alex Foster.
Tickets for the clash remain on sale from the Ticket Office at the Totally Wicked Stadium, by calling 01744 455 052 or online here http://saints.retailsportssystems.com/matchtickets.html
2017 Members can access free coach travel too – but places are limited.