RELEGATION threatened Doncaster Knights are still in control of their own destiny, according to the club’s Championship director John Lowe.
Defeat to fellow strugglers London Scottish last Friday left the floundering Knights five points adrift at the bottom of the second tier with eight games remaining.
The Castle Park club - dubbed the most promoted team in English club rugby union history - have never been relegated since they became a fully fledged league side in 1987.
But frustrated director of rugby Clive Griffiths was forced to admit he is not a “miracle worker” after another error-strewn defeat to Scottish, Knights’ sixth straight loss in all competitions.
Despite the club’s bleak winter, long-serving Lowe reckons they have what it takes to move clear of the Championship trap door.
“There’s four other clubs as anxious as we are,” said Lowe.
“We’re five points adrift but we’ve played Newcastle and Bristol twice.
“It’s still in our hands.
“We’ve recruited Clive Griffiths to help us and he’s working very hard to turn things round.
“The players are very aware of the severity of the situation.
“It’s a massive drop down to the National League, and if we went down we’d have to fill that gap.
“Clubs that have gone down in the past have a history of bouncing back.
“But it’s still wide open and as a club we’re confident we can get out of it.
“The Championship is getting harder and harder, and we’ve had a bad last year or so,” he added.
“We finished last season with a fixture backlog, had a massive injury list and then had a big turnover of players in the summer.
“That losing run has continued but we’ve still got four massive games at Castle Park, and Moseley and Jersey to play away.”
Knights face a difficult trip to Cornish Pirates on Sunday before a huge derby with Leeds Carnegie at the Castle on Saturday, February 16.
Doncaster have enjoyed eight successive seasons in the Championship.
They achieved a remarkable nine promotions, leapfrogging from Yorkshire League Division Two (national level 10) to the game’s second tier, in less than two decades.