GEORGE Tyson’s red card for fighting after the final hooter in the Law Cup defeat by Rochdale could cost him his place in Oldham’s opening Championship clash against Sheffield Eagles at Bower Fold on Sunday, February 5.
Tyson and Rochdale’s Paddy Jones were sent off at the end of a bruising derby battle which Hornets won 24-12 after their forwards totally dominated the second half.
The Oldham centre was given a rough ride by an aggressive, fired-up Hornets outfit who bundled him into touch three times — twice on the first tackle.
His dismissal came just minutes after Scott Turner and Jamel Chisholm were taken off injured, Turner with a calf strain and Chisholm with a sore knee.
They will be assessed at training tomorrow night along with several other members of the squad who didn’t play against Rochdale, including Danny Grimshaw, Nathan Chappell, Liam Thompson, Ben Davies, Danny Langtree and Adam Clay.
Oldham will welcome a blank weekend to give the walking wounded more time to recover and to give Scott Naylor and his coaching staff an extra week to look at what’s going wrong on the field.
Two defeats and a draw in a three-match pre-season programme don’t bode well for a flying start in the Championship.
Speaking of this latest loss, Naylor said: “Rochdale deserved their win. They were more aggressive and smarter than we were. Congratulations to their players and coaching staff
“As a group it’s our first Law Cup loss in five years together so we have to take it on the chin.
“In each of our three warm-up games we’ve not played the way I wanted us to play. We’ve played the wrong way. That can only mean one thing — we (coaching staff) are not getting our message across so we’ll have to adopt new ways of getting it across.
“It’s a simple fix, but we need 17 players to learn quickly how to do the right things at the right time.
“We’ve got a good squad made up of good lads who I believe in, but they need to believe a little bit more in what we are trying to do and play the way I want them to play.”
Hornets boss Alan Kilshaw said: “I was particularly pleased with our defence because we had a lot of tackling to do near our own line in the first half.
“There wasn’t a lot between us really and we won’t be getting carried away when we could be meeting four times in the league.
“We both had men out and by the time we’ve finished with each other later in the year I’m sure both teams will look very different.”