SCOTT Naylor says he has tough selection decisions to make in his Oldham side for tonight’s KP Championship game at Halifax (8pm kick-off)..
His line-up won’t be announced publicly until he posts it outside the dressing room an hour before kick-off to comply with RFL rules.
With no new injuries from the Leigh game, the arrival on loan of prop Tom Spencer and the possibility of up to four dual-registered players available to him, Naylor will have plenty of options to chew on.
Said the Roughyeds boss: “We’ve suddenly gone from bare bones to plenty of lads wanting a game. That’s how it should be.”,
Still sidelined are Craig Briscoe, Jack Spencer, Tom Ashton, Richard Lepori and Jon Ford, but Naylor will still have 22 chomping at the bit if, as expected, he has a full complement of young dual-reg boys from Huddersfield Giants.
Liam Johnson, Kruise Leeming and Jared Simpson played at centre, hooker and full-back respectively against Leigh but Tyler Dickinson, who has already played a few games for Roughyeds, was away in France with the Giants, for their game against Catalans Dragons,
Others who didn’t play last time out were club captain Lewis Palfrey, hooker Adam Files, centre or wing Jack Holmes and, of course, new boy Tom Spencer.
He hasn’t brought in Spencer on loan for a month to have him watching what’s going on, so the front-row will probably be an area for decision-making as will half-back where he could go with any two of Danny Grimshaw, Palfrey, Steve Roper and Gareth Owen.
Said Naylor: “As we saw at Bower Fold, Halifax are a side that can punish you quickly if you allow them to have lots of possession and good field position.
“We let ourselves down that day. The game was over at half-time. But I think we are a stronger side now than we were then.
“Halifax are a very experienced side with quality players , but they’ve been a bit inconsistent this season. Even in the games they’ve lost they’ve scored points, so we won’t win purely with good defence; we’re going to have to score points too.”
‘Fax, who lost at Batley last time out, hope to be strengthened by the return from injury of Aussie prop Mitch Cahalane.
Coach Richard Marshall says his side needs to improve on recent performances in order to finish in the top four, as they did last year.
He added: “Oldham are a good team who have had some excellent wins since we won at Bower Fold on Good Friday. They play for each other and they’ll be coming to get a scalp.
“We need to raise our game, improve our kicking and get our combinations working.”