‘All in contention’ – NaylorDate published: Wednesday, July 29, 2015
EVERY one of Oldham’s 23 available players is in the selection mix for the big clash with Keighley Cougars, said coach Scott Naylor after training last night.
That includes, he confirmed, new boys Elliot Liku and Will Hope and hopefully Tom Ashton, who hasn’t played since he damaged a knee at South Wales Scorpions on April 19.
In a top-of-the-table Whitebank showdown on Sunday (3pm kick off), Naylor’s League One leaders go head to head with second-placed Keighley Cougars in a neck-and-neck race to finish top and earn the right to crucial home advantage in a promotion play-off.
Roughyeds will be going for their eighth win in a row, but that will count for nothing when Naylor fills in his team sheet.
“I’m not afraid of changing a winning team,” he said. “After all that’s been going on concerning the signing deadline and dual-reg players, we’ve finished up with 23 lads who are totally committed to getting us to where we want to be.
“There’s no point in having a squad if we’re not going to use it, so over the six remaining league games I plan to use as much of the squad as I possibly can.
“I’ve done that all season and I think it’s one of the main reasons why we’ve only one player, Steven Nield, who will miss the run-in because of injury.
“Squad rotation is something I believe in.”
Asked if Hope and Liku could be involved, he replied: “Absolutely . . . everyone could.
“Tom Ashton trained normally and if he comes through the Thursday and Saturday sessions okay, he might be available too.”
Sammy Gee didn’t train, but only because he was feeling unwell with a stomach complaint.
Added Naylor: “The new boys trained, and did well.
“Will Hope knows lots of us from our Salford days, including ‘Spanner’ (Lee Spencer, assistant coach) and me and he immediately looked comfortable in new surroundings.
“He looked fit too, considering he has been out for quote a while.
“Elliot also slotted in easily and they both trained well. They are looking forward to playing and putting on the Oldham jersey for the first time.”