MICKY Higham admits Leigh’s underperforming squad faces a “test of character” to playing their way out of their Betfred Championship slump.

Centurions travel to Halifax on Sunday looking to avoid a fourth successive defeat, hit by long term injuries to Daniel Mortimer and Ben Reynolds plus Kurt Baptiste’s decision to return to Australia.

Golden oldie Higham retired at the end of last season but answered caretaker coach Keiron Purtill’s SOS to make his comeback in last Sunday’s 38-30 home defeat by Featherstone Rovers.

Old boy Martyn Ridyard’s masterclass ensured there was no fairy tale return for the 37-year-old hooker.

And Higham admits the team needs to improve its collective self-belief and attitude.

“There were some improvements,” he said.

“But when you are low on confidence and things aren’t going your way, you don’t get the 50-50’s or bounce of the ball.

“When a team comes back at us now with a try or a couple of tries you can see the momentum start to swing.

“Teams are going to look at hanging in with us for the first half because they know – at the moment – in the second half we will fall away.

“It is an issue that needs addressing but it is not massive thing,” he admitted.

“But there are no excuses, we are a full-time team.”

Leigh’s poor start has already left them six points behind the Championship top three: Toulouse, unbeaten London Broncos and Featherstone Rovers.

Next team up Halifax sit seventh in the table on four points.

“It is challenging when we need to be picking up wins as soon as possible,” says Higham of Leigh’s current injury woes.

“Someone has got to step up; perhaps to fill a role they haven’t done for a while.

“It will be a test of character, especially travelling to Halifax. I have never had an easy game at Halifax whenever I have played.”

Higham paid tribute to former team mate Ridyard but insisted: “We probably let him play and didn’t pressure him enough.

“But fair play he was excellent, and I congratulated him after the game. He was a well-deserved man of the match.”

Despite defeat and a sore body on Monday morning Higham is glad to be back playing.

“A few people said they were surprised how comfortable I looked and how many minutes I did,” he said.

“On Monday, I felt someone had hit me with a metal bar I while I was asleep. I was so sore.

“However, I have recovered quite quickly and I am happy with how I have pulled up.

“The wife and kids are made up for me too. I made no denial I didn’t want to retire at the end of last season

“And the missus has said she has seen a change in me since I have gone back playing because I seem happier. I am starting to believe things must happen for a reason.”