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Wakefield coach Chris Chester has hit out at fans of the club for their abuse of Scott Grix and is tipping the veteran full-back to bounce back in Thursday’s crucial Super 8s clash with Hull.

Grix blotted an otherwise impressive performance with a defensive error in the closing stages of Trinity’s game against St Helens last Thursday which resulted in a potentially costly defeat.

Chester sprung to the defence of the 33-year-old Ireland international in the post-match press conference but that did not prevent the player coming under intense criticism on social media.

“He copped some ridiculous stick and what disappointed me more than anything was the stick that he’s received from his own fans from behind the keyboard,” Chester said.

“I’m very disappointed to be associated with those Wakefield fans. Some of it has been just disgusting which I wouldn’t expect from any fan, never mind our own.

“He’s probably been our best player this year and he didn’t deserve the abuse and criticism that he got. First and foremost Grixy is a very good rugby league player and off the field he’s a very good person as well.

“But that’s been put to bed now. Grixy will play this week. He’s regularly been in the top two or three players every single week this year and he’ll want to make amends for last week. He’s trained very well this week and he’s a very important player for this team moving forward.”

Despite their last-gasp defeat to Saints, Chester’s men still have their fate in their own hands, knowing that victory at the KCOM Stadium and at home to Wigan in their last Super 8s fixture on Saturday week will secure a maiden play-off semi-final.

“If we win both games we finish third,” Chester said. “We know that, if the results go against us this week, we will have very little to play for next week.

“It’s in our hands. We need to perform like we did against St Helens last week and play for 80 minutes and, if we do that, I think we’ve got a very good chance.

“We need to be desperate. We’re looking forward to it, we’re enjoying being in these big games at this stage of the season.”

Hull, who are just a point ahead of Trinity, have won their last six matches against Wakefield but suffered a last-gasp defeat of their own against Wigan last Friday and have now lost their last three matches in the Super 8s, two of them at home.

The Challenge Cup winners are boosted by the return from suspension of retiring captain Gareth Ellis, who began his career with Wakefield in 1999, for what will be his final home game.

With overseas three-quarters Steve Michaels and Mahe Fonua also making their farewell appearances at the KCOM Stadium, Hull coach Lee Radford admits his side will have an added incentive to end their losing run.

“It would be nice to send the three lads off with a win in their final home game,” Radford said.