EX-Bull Scott Naylor is taking a bullish stand about what to expect from Oldham in Sunday’s Betfred League 1 showdown against Bradford Bulls, his old club, at what will be a full-house Vestacare Stadium.
The Roughyeds head coach, a member of Bradford’s all-conquering side of 20 years ago, has told the city’s Telegraph and Argus that Bulls fans can stand by for a close encounter.
And he has no worries about the ability of his Roughyeds outfit to back-up their sterling, all-action display at York last Sunday with a similar show against the Bulls.
Roughyeds fell agonisingly short at Bootham Crescent, losing 10-6, but they finished the stronger side and they looked capable of snatching it in the last few minutes.
They felt strongly that a crucial decision went against them, robbing them of a full set with the Knights visibly tiring and defending desperately in their red zone.
Said the Oldham boss:
“We ran out of time but I can’t speak too highly of how the boys played.
“There was nothing to be down about afterwards. Every player gave everything he had to give. They all played well and I know they’ll be up for it again on Sunday.
“I don’t subscribe to the view that it will be hard to rise to that level again a week later. Just the opposite, in fact.
“A tough game like that was exactly what was required as preparation for a similar clash this weekend.
“Down in West Wales, where they won 104-0, the Bulls were involved in a completely different sort of game.
“I know which was the better preparation for Sunday’s game, that’s for sure.”
The Roughyeds medical team will tonight be checking out Paul Crook, who damaged a foot at York and missed the whole of the second half.
Bradford need to win to keep their title hopes alive.
An Oldham win would keep them on course for play-off qualification and a possible trip to Bradford in the promotion semi-final.