OLDHAM head coach Scott Naylor is preparing his Roughyeds side to do battle with a North Wales Crusaders outfit that will come to the Vestacare Stadium “with all guns blazing.”
The Welshmen, based in Wrexham, are one of the form teams of Betfred League 1, having beaten leaders Whitehaven on their own turf before recording back-to-back home wins against Keighley Cougars and Workington Town.
It was in the Keighley game that Kenny Hughes was charged with dangerous contact and ultimately received a two-match ban.
It will keep him sidelined against his former club and his best pal (Danny Langtree), but Crusaders will still have FOUR former Roughyeds in their squad, namely Dave Eccleston, Matt Reid, Steve Roper and Alex Thompson.
“Crusaders will come expecting to win and possessing no fear whatsoever. That’s what happens when you string a number of wins together.
“They should have beaten us at their place and they’ll remember that even though it was very early in the season.
“We’ll have to play well and match them, at the very least, in key components of the game like defending well, completing sets and not conceding penalties.
“We’ve no easy games from now to the end of the season so we’ve got to be on our mettle.
“North Wales will make formidable opponents. They’ll have a real dig.”
Crusaders have Kenny Baker, Lewis Fairhurst and Steven Wild unavailable as well as Kenny Hughes.
Alex Acklin and Alex Thompson are called into the squad.
CRUSADERS (from): Ashall, Atherton, Brennan, Eccleston, Eckley, Gregory, Hazzard, Houghton, Hurst, Massam, Marcey-Samuel, Reid, Roper, Smith, Stead, Reid, Roper, A Thompson, W Thompson, Walker.