Salford coach Ian Watson insists the Super League top eight remains a realistic target for his side after they snatched a 22-18 victory over Castleford at the AJ Bell Stadium.
The victory lifted the Red Devils up to ninth, four points behind eighth-placed Widnes and five adrift of Castleford with three matches left before the split for the Super 8s.
And their cause could get a massive boost during the week, with Salford owner Marwan Koukash confident of over-turning the club’s six-point deduction for an alleged salary-cap breach when he presents their case at an appeal hearing in Manchester next Wednesday.
“It’s always been our aim to get in the top eight and while it’s still possible, we want to keep aiming there,” Watson said.
“We feel we should be there in our own right.
“Obviously it’s a big week for us because we’ve got the hearing to see if we get the points back or not.”
Salford trailed 18-10 early in the second half when Castleford full-back Luke Dorn went over for his side’s third try, adding to Jake Webster’s first-half brace.
But winger Mason Caton-Brown kept the home side in contention with his first try of the season on 58 minutes before Gareth O’Brien took advantage of Castleford’s loss of discipline by kicking three penalties in the last 10 minutes.
A fourth successive defeat leaves Castleford still needing one more win to secure their place in the top eight, their chances not helped when winger Joel Monaghan went off after only four minutes with a dislocated shoulder.
Castleford are thought to have re-signed former England stand-off and Man of Steel Rangi Chase on a two-and-a-half year contract, although Powell failed to confirm an announcement is imminent.
Meanwhile, Warrington Wolves coach Tony Smith felt it was a point lost rather than a point gained after his side’s 16-16 draw with Hull KR.
Playing against 12 men for 43 minutes, Warrington struggled to make their numerical advantage pay against a Rovers side that dug deep for their point.
“The effort KR put in was fantastic with a man sent off,” said Smith, whose side remain third in the table.
“It was a frustrating game for both teams at times in terms of handling conditions and discipline – both teams lacked discipline in terms of handling and penalties.
James Green was the man sent off just before halftime for punching Jordan Cox.