SCOTT Naylor has warned that Roughyeds will have to “put things right” if they are to turn over Keighley Cougars at the Vestacare Stadium on Sunday (3pm) in Betfred League 1.
While Cougars will be seeking a third win in a row, having beaten Hunslet away and Hemel Stags at home, against whom they ran in 80 points, Naylor’s Oldham will be striving to avoid a third consecutive defeat after losing at Bradford and then at home against Hunslet. That was the one that hurt.
They led 16-6 midway through the second half, had a try disallowed that would have put the game to bed, and then conceded three converted tries in quarter of an hour to lose 24-16.
“Keighley will come full of confidence and expecting to win, given that they won at Hunslet, who then came to our place and beat us.
“They’ve just signed ex-Super League prop Darrell Griffin too which shows they’re ambitious and mean business.
“If anyone in Oldham thinks Sunday’s game will be anything like the pre-season friendly (Oldham piled on more than 50 points) they’re sadly mistaken. This is going to be a real tough game and we’ve got to put things right.
“What we’ve been doing isn’t working in this division. We’ve got to do better and be better in every game, starting against the Cougars.”
Craig Lingard, Keighley’s head coach, has told his squad to expect a Roughyeds backlash from last week’s disappointment.
“Oldham will be smarting from that defeat (by Hunslet) and it might mean they are behind where they expected to be at this stage.
“It’s a toss of a coin which Oldham side we’ll get on Sunday.”
As well as considering the claims of 36-year-old new boy Griffin, Lingard will also be looking at the fitness of another prop, Bradford loanee James Davies.
He hasn’t played yet for Cougars after damaging a shoulder in his first training session, but Lingard is hoping he might be ready for this weekend.
“We brought him in because we needed a bit of size and punch in the middle. It was unfortunate he got injured when he did, but we’ll see how he is ahead of the Oldham game.”
Down in tenth place after three defeats in five league games, Roughyeds badly need a home win to stay in touch with the four sides currently occupying the play-off spots, namely Bradford Bulls, York City Knights, Workington Town . . . and Keighley Cougars.
A glance at the league table indicates that League 1 is tougher and more competitive than it’s ever been.
With only five rounds gone there isn’t one unbeaten team and only two points separate Workington, in fourth place, and Oldham, down in tenth.
Tickets for Oldham’s fifth round Ladbrokes Challenge Cup tie against Hull KR at Bower Fold on Sunday week, April 22, will be on sale between 2pm and 3pm at the club shop inside the Vestacare Stadium for the visit of Keighley Cougars this Sunday.
The cup tie is NOT all-ticket, but fans who buy in advance will help themselves and help the club to ease turnstile congestion on the day.