HEAD coach Matt Diskin has made no secret of the club’s priority this year which is to do enough in the Betfred Championship to stay in that division after winning promotion from League 1 in 2019.
He is quick to point out, though, that concentration on the league battle does not mean that he and his troops will go into the Challenge Cup and the 1895 Cup with less determination and desire than any other club.
Speaking ahead of Sunday’s Challenge Cup fourth-round tie at Widnes Vikings, the Oldham boss said:
“While the Challenge Cup is not a priority for us in the bigger picture, it’s an amazing competition, the most prestigious knock-out competition in the rugby league world.
“We’ll respect it, and it’s wonderful history, by going to Widnes and giving the tie our best crack.
“We’re massive underdogs. We’ve absolutely no pressure on us and we’ve nothing to lose. We’ll be going there to play good, entertaining rugby and to see what happens.
“Neither Widnes, nor their fans, will be expecting a lot from us, given their 36-6 win at Bower Fold in the Championship only three weeks ago but we’ll be going there to give it our best shot.”
Vikings have named a 21-man squad which shows two changes from the squad that came to Stalybridge on February 2, Jay Hatton and MacGraff Leuluai replacing Liam Cooper and Lewis Hulme.
It has three changes to the squad that was on duty last Sunday against London Broncos, who won 38-12 at the DCBL Stadium.
The kick-off was delayed by ten minutes because of queues outside the ground caused by new ticketing arrangements, but Vikings say they have solved those teething problems and hopefully there will be no such concerns this week.
Danny Craven and Jay Hatton are back after injury and Kenny Baker returns after suspension.
Squad: Kenny Baker, Ted Chapelhow, Danny Craven, Dion Cross, Jacob Dugdale, Connor Dwyer, Joe Edge, Owen Farnworth, Shane Grady, Jay Hatton, Jack Johnson, MacGraff Leuluai, Joe Lyons, Pat Moran, Callum O’Neill, Jack Owens, Lloyd Roby, Matty Smith, Jake Spedding, Logan Tomkins, Sam Wilde.