HEAD coach Scott Naylor talked of Oldham’s “massive loss of form” after the 15-8 defeat at Keighley, the Roughyeds’ third defeat in the last four games.
Before that, they had won eight games in a row, but they then ran into an injury pile-up about the same time as a dual-reg link with Salford Red Devils started to prove fruitless.
A 16-12 defeat at Hunslet was followed by a 16-14 loss to Workington Town at The Vestacare Stadium.
“We played dumb rugby in those two games and we’ve now lost our third game in four because we also played dumb.
“The Keighley game should have been all about getting our season back on track, but the Cougars had a win-at-all-costs mentality and all credit to them for that.
“I must congratulate them for playing with all that spirit and determination after all they’ve been through in the last few weeks.”
A financial crisis threatened the club’s existence, but before kick-off Cougars announced the club was in new ownership and now had a three-year plan to get into the Championship and become an established Championship club.
“They’ve lost quality players, accepted pay cuts and the club’s been in turmoil, but they went to Hemel last week and produced a decent performance.
“Then they came out tonight and showed us what it means to put in a big performance for themselves, their club and their coach.
“They worked hard, completed sets, put their bodies on the line, grafted for each other and had a collective win-at-all-costs mentality.
“I’m still struggling with the result though because I thought we were the better side in the first half without doing anything special.
“It was a different story after the break when it took us 20 minutes to complete a set and we gave away a few penalties under our own posts.
“Keighley worked hard to beat us, but all I’m hearing is how well we did to score more than 100 points against West Wales Raiders. That can’t be right.”
Said Keighley boss Craig Lingard:
“I’m immensely proud of the boys, eight of whom probably wouldn’t have been in the 17 a few weeks ago.
“Five players have moved on; we’ve two under suspension; and another injured.
“The win keeps us in touch with the top five so that’s got to be good.”