Morale is still good - Grima
London Broncos coach Joey Grima is well down the track in his preparations for life in the Kingstone Press Championship but insists he has not lost focus on the club's ailing First Utility Super League campaign.
Firm relegation favourites before a ball was kicked back in February, the Londoners' plight worsened over the weekend when Wakefield Trinity Wildcats and Salford Red Devils picked up crucial wins, and their fate will be sealed at Warrington in the only Super League match tomorrow if they fail to halt their 19-match losing run.
Grima has been gearing up for the inevitable since taking over the reins from fellow Australian Tony Rea in May, wheeling and dealing in the transfer market as rival Super League clubs pick off the cream of his crop.
Already rising centre star Mason Caton-Brown has gone to Salford, overseas forward Atelea Vea has signed for St Helens and hooker Scott Moore is on his way to Castleford Tigers.
Grima has already lined up most of the replacements, as well as appointing an assistant coach for 2015, but maintains that, amidst all the upheaval, the show goes on for 2014.
"It's a question of creating an environment for the players where they find training enjoyable," he said. "It's not too hard to keep them focused.
"In actual fact, considering all we've been through and the road that we've come, our morale is very, very good.
"We've lost five or six players to other Super League clubs and I've advised seven or eight players that they're not required next year but, even with that additional pressure, the morale in the joint has been really pleasing.
"Given our lack of on-field confidence, it's been really surprising. It could be much, much worse."
The Broncos have already made history with the worst start to a Super League campaign and they are on course to become the first team to go through a season without a win.
Halifax finished point-less in 2003 but they actually won their opening game, against London Broncos, before having the points taken away for breaching the salary cap.
Grima's men have conceded 100 points in their last two matches, against Widnes Vikings and Wigan Warriors, and they now face a Warrington Wolves team chasing a ninth successive win.
The former Parramatta player and coach is acutely aware of the size of the task but oozes an infectious optimism as he relishes his first role as a head coach.
"Warrington away is arguably the hardest trip for anyone going away," Grima said. "Not many people get two points going up to Warrington playing against Tony Smith.
"Then we go into St Helens, Castleford who are flying at the moment and then Leeds and that's on the back of Wigan last week.
"So we're coming through a real tough four, five-week period. We've a lot of injuries and things going on but that's not going to stop me from my preparation in finishing our last eight games as positively as I possibly can.
"I don't have an assistant coach, I don't have a stats man or an analyst, I'm doing all of that by myself but I put my head on the pillow and go to sleep knowing I've done all my processes during the week and I'm satisfied that my team is best prepared."
Warrington, who will equal their best run since 1987 if they complete the double over the Broncos, have veteran prop Paul Wood back from a three-month absence with a torn bicep and will give a debut to centre Toby King, who turned 18 on Wednesday.
"It will be a good birthday present for him and it's well deserved," said Wolves assistant coach Richard Marshall.
"He's being doing really well with the under-19s and has been with the first grade for a few months so he's used to our systems and the way we want to play.
"He'll be made up to make his debut."