YORK Knights head coach Andrew Henderson is relishing the upcoming play-off eliminator at Odsal Stadium, as the Knights take on Bradford Bulls.

Henderson’s side defied the odds to reach the play-offs with a sensational run of form towards the end of the season, despite York struggling with injuries for the entirety of their Betfred Championship campaign.

Henderson affirmed that his side have the right to be in the play-offs, but admitted he is expecting a different challenge from Bradford, despite having already defeated the Bulls twice this season.

“The reality is that we’ve earned the right to be in this competition.” Henderson enthused.

“The six teams that are in this play-offs have been the six most consistent teams over the course of 27 rounds.

“It’s great, we have a choice to make as a group, we’re either sort of happy with that, go out there and if we don’t win then whatever type of mentality, or we go out there and attack the competition.

“I said that to the guys on Tuesday night, that’s the decision. Either be pleased or satisfied with what you’ve achieved now and that’s enough for you, or let’s go and have a crack at it.

“I’m hopeful the players will have that mindset of going after it, but again we won’t focus too much ahead other than what’s coming this weekend, which is Bradford.

“Our mentality and mindset will be very similar to how we’ve approached the last 10 to 12 weeks, so that’s not going to change from our perspective.

“Hopefully we’ll go there and deliver a performance to earn us a result.

“We’ve been able to unlock them in both occasions we’ve faced them this year.

“But we understand that this is a different competition now, we’ll be facing a different animal on Sunday night.

“They’re going to be well up for it, it’s play-off football now so the intensity rises.

“It’ll come down to the team that manages that pressure better, manages the game better that will get a result in the end.

“I like to think that where we are currently at as a group, we’ve been preparing for this competition for the past couple of weeks with some of our performances, and I feel confident that we know what is needed to get the job done.

“The challenge will be if we can now raise another level and deliver that level of performance that is needed.”

Henderson also confirmed that Oli Pratt would not be returning to the club for the play-offs, after Wakefield Trinity opted to recall the youngster, and that Myles Harrison will miss the remainder of 2023 through injury.

“We’ve got eleven out. Most of the season we’ve had seven to 10 players missing each week, so it hasn’t changed, I’m sure they’ll go out there and do the best they can.

“In some regards you can say that we are going out there as underdogs, we are nowhere near full strength but we haven’t been all season.

“We haven’t been in the last ten weeks on this run, and we’ve still managed to perform.

“It doesn’t matter whose selected out there, they will give their best for their teammates and for the club.

“(On Pratt) I’ve followed up with the RFL, but because he’s been recalled for the deadline we can’t get him back. That’s unfortunate.

“It looks like it’s a meniscus tear in his (Harrison’s) knee.

“It’s a little bit unfortunate, it’s one of those things where at Barrow we’re chasing a kick down, Liam Harris steps the Barrow player and he collides with Myles, that’s what has caused the injury.

“It’s really unfortunate and these things happen in games, I feel for Myles because he’s done a solid job for the team, but it’s very likely he’ll be unavailable for the remainder of the year.”