THE self-belief and confidence Oldham will have gained from their 24-10 in at Barrow should help them immensely in Sunday’s Law Cup clash with the ‘old enemy’ Rochdale Hornets, said Roughyeds boss Scott Naylor after the Craven Park triumph.
Post-match Sunday night is the one night of the week when, within reason, the players are allowed to indulge in a spot of fun for a couple of hours or so before thoughts turn to the next challenge.
As you can no doubt imagine, it was a joyful journey back down the M6, but long before the bus turned on to the East Lancs Road to drop off the squad’s west Lancashire contingent, the coaching team headed by Scott Naylor and also including Pete Carey, Paul Crook and Adam Neal was already thinking ahead to Rochdale, the Law Cup and this weekend’s big game at the Vestacare Stadium.
“The win up there (Barrow) was a great start to our pre-season programme and we now need to take the self-belief it will have generated into the Rochdale game.
“The Law Cup clash is NOT a friendly –it’s a very important game for both clubs and for both sets of fans.
“Most of our supporters will be watching our many new players for the first time in what will be the first Law Cup game in the town for eight years.
“That makes it even more special and I can’t speak too highly of the attitude of all the new lads we have brought into the club.
“That attitude and that commitment were reflected in how we played against the Raiders, who are always tough to beat at home.
“It isn’t easy for so many new lads to integrate into a new side as successfully as we did at Craven Park. It speaks volumes for the commitment of the boys.
“We looked fit, strong, structured, well organised and confident — and that was particularly admirable given the number of lads who were there for the first time and the fact that we had only one real middle man (Luke Nelmes) on the bench.
“I think the extra experience we’ve brought into the club will be a big help too.
“We took our chances when we got into strong positions, after scrambling well early on to keep ourselves in the game before going from strength to strength.
“We grew into the game and grew in confidence as the game wore on.
“Individually, there were a few outstanding performances and I would like to mention young Jamie Greenwood, who’s only 20 but did more than enough to prove that we’ve signed a good, young hooker.
“He was quick around the ruck, showed he had a good kicking game and he wasn’t shy in defence.”