NEIL Jukes has no fears for the success of Leigh’s latest Middle 8s campaign providing his team adopts its 2016 blueprint rather than the failed 2015 version.

And part of the winning formula is giving maximum respect to Championship opponents starting with Saturday’s visit to Featherstone Rovers.

However, the Super League outfit will be without centre Ben Crooks and prop Gareth Hock, injury legacies from the final game of the regular season against Salford Red Devils.

“We are preparing this week as though we are going to be playing a Warrington or a Widnes,” said Jukes.

“f you don’t get it right, it’s a tough place to go.

“They have nothing to lose and have had two weeks to prepare for what is one of their cup finals.

“We are not under estimating them one bit.

“It’s important we respect them and perform to the levels required.

“However, when this team puts a performance together they can be formidable.

“The challenge is to make sure the 17 players come up with their best performance at the same time.

“When we have done that this year we have beaten a lot of the top teams.”

Featherstone lost all seven Middle 8’s games in 2016, including a 30-18 defeat to Leigh at Post Office Road.

But they kick-off this time with renewed optimism after the arrival of new coach and ex Leigh favourite, John Duffy.

“Last year we had a lot of momentum behind us but it took us until 75 minutes to get two scores ahead,” added Jukes.

“John is a good lad and did an outstanding job at Swinton given the resources at his disposal.

“He deserves a crack at the next level where Featherstone are at.

“They will be committed as they showed against Toulouse.

“Besides, Featherstone have already had a good year.

“I don’t think there are too many tweaks needed because they have had some good results this year.

“But like any coach, John will want to change and a adapt a few things.

“So, it will be a bit of an unknown as to what he will change from weeks gone by.”

Jukes is keeping the full extent of injuries to Crooks and Hock close to his chest.

But while disappointed not to have them to pick from the Leigh boss insists: “It gives an opportunity for someone else earlier than envisaged.

“What we learned from last year is that everyone should be ready to contribute.

“It’s not ideal because you don’t want to lose anyone but it’s not the end of the world.

“We have got to remain positive and just make sure as a team we perform ell.

“Those that are not selected just got to work hard, support the team and ready for future games.”

James Child, who took charge of last Sunday’s Challenge Cup semi-final between Wigan and Salford, will referee Saturday’s game.