DESCRIBING the next few days as a “big week for the club with a massive game at the end of it”, Scott Turner says Oldham will be ready for the must-win relegation battle with Whitehaven at Bower Fold on Sunday.
A Roughyeds win would allow KP Championship survival celebrations to begin and condemn ‘Haven to League One in 2017 alongside their Cumbrian neighbours Workington Town, who are already down.
If ‘Haven were to triumph, however, it would go down to the last day of the season when they are at home to Swinton, another club still not safe, and Oldham go to Dewsbury.
“That’s the last thing we want,” said Turner (22), the latest Roughyeds’ player to sign a new contract for 2017.
He added: “We need to finish the job on Sunday. We thought we had put ourselves in a safe position, but we haven’t been at our best in the last two or three games and Whitehaven then came up with that shock win at Dewsbury.
“We should have been a bit smarter in recent games (like hanging on to an 18-8 lead at Halifax) and now we’re in a relegation dogfight.
“We’ve a few things to put right, but we’ll do it this week because our total focus will be on the Whitehaven game.
“I’ve seen in my short time here what a roller-coaster of a division it is and if we’re still in it next season we’ll have to learn how to ‘play the division’ and make sure we’re not in the position we’re in today.”
Turner arrived at the club at the start of August, having scored 28 tries in 34 games for North Wales Crusaders.
He signed a short-term deal to the end of this season ‘to test the water’ but said he knew within a week he had made the right decision.
“Coming to a new club so late in the season took me out of my comfort zone and I admit to being a bit apprehensive,” he added.
“I soon realised I had no need to be. I’m pleased the club wanted me to commit for another year and I’m looking forward to what’s in store.
“All my rugby in the last three or four years has been played on the wing so I’m a bit rusty at full-back although I like the position because you’re more involved than you are on the wing.”
Up in Cumbria, meanwhile, Whitehaven are excited at seeing some light at the end of the relegation tunnel for the first time in weeks.
They’ve got to win at Bower Fold but if they do that they believe they’ll beat Swinton at home on the final day to pull off the Great Escape.
With no coach after sacking ex-Oldham half-back James Coyle, four senior players are calling the shots, including another ex-Roughyed in David Allen.
Scott McAvoy, another member of the gang of four, said of the stunning 56-12 win at Dewsbury: “It was do or die. We are in survival mode.
“We’ll ride the wave, go to Oldham on a high and give it everything we’ve got.”