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Not a normal game: Long backs players ahead of Keighley showdown

Head coach Sean Long admits Sunday’s top-of-the-table clash at Keighley is set to be the most intense game of the season as Oldham bid to take a giant step towards promotion to the Betfred Championship.

As the only unbeaten team in League 1, the Roughyeds can move two points clear at the top with a game in hand if they can secure a win at Cougar Park, and head into the contest having not conceded a single point in their last two games.

Long gave his players some extra recovery time this week after the long trip to Cornwall, with the players training just twice ahead of the trip to West Yorkshire. And with several key players nearing their returns from injury, the head coach admits he is starting to have some very difficult selection decisions.

“It’s been really tough as it’s hard to leave lads out but hopefully we go out there and deliver,”

Long told the club’s new-look You Tube channel: Roughyeds TV

“Every week has been an opportunity to show where we are at and every game has been tough for us. We know that we are coming up against a good team and we will give them the full respect that they deserve. They are a well-drilled team with some attacking threats so we know we are in for a tough day.”

Oldham secured a 42-0 win at Cornwall last weekend, having shut out Newcastle on home soil in the previous fixture, a huge defensive effort that Long has been calling for since he took the job.

“Keeping teams to zero is really good and is what we pride ourselves on. The main thing this week is getting the win though as Keighley have so many attacking threats, so we will have to be strong in D and look after each other.

“Keighley will come flying out of the blocks like every other team we have played, they are at home and will want to get one over on us. We are taking a few coaches of fans over there to get behind us and make it like a home game. It’s not a normal game this if I’m being honest. It is going to be the most intense game we have played this year and the lads are ready for it.”

England rugby union star George Ford was present at Friday’s training session at Boundary Park and addressed the players with tips on thriving in the chaos of battle. Ford was invited by his father Mike, the club’s Managing Director, and gave an insightful talk on staying mentally strong in intense situations on the pitch.

Winger Mo Agoro is set to make his 50th appearance for the club against his former team on Sunday, having scored 31 tries in his 49 games in the Oldham shirt.

“Keighley are a great club with great fans and great players,”

Agoro said of his return to Cougar Park, on this week’s brand new episode of The Boundary Line on Roughyeds TV.

“They will be doing their best to have a competitive game with us and there are a few players I know there. Jack Miller is a danger, a good character and a great kicker. I loved my time there and had a bit of success there.



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