Blackburn Hawks coach Steve Duncombe hopes a number of returning faces can be the boost his side needs after a disappointing return in the league last weekend.

The Hawks saw their good run of form ended with back-to-back defeats against Sheffield Steeldogs and Solihull Barons having won each of their previous three league fixtures.

They take another break from league action this weekend for an NIHL North Cup double-header, hosting Billingham Stars tonight and then travelling to Telford Tigers tomorrow.

Duncombe’s men have won just two of their eight round robin group games so far, leaving them with a slim chance of qualifying for the knockout stages, sitting second bottom of the seven team group with just four points to their name.

The coach felt his side were unlucky last weekend, but hopes a bumper crowd of more than 1,000 who watched the 5-4 defeat to the Barons will return for the remainder of the season.

He said: “We had a mixed weekend last time out and I thought we were unlucky not to take something from the Barons game. The support from the fans was fantastic last week and quite a few players mentioned it in their social media sites.

“Let’s all be loud and proud again this weekend.”

In the Moralee Conference, the Hawks have games in hand over the two sides, Whitley Warriors and Solihull Barons, who sit directly above them.

Lying in seventh spot, Duncombe hopes having more players available to choose from can be the boost his side need in a bid to make the top four.

He added: “We are coming out of an horrendous injury run, now is the time to step up our game and start challenging the top four.”