Bensons thoughts

Date published: Monday, May 21, 2012

TONY Benson thinks his Oldham squad’s loss of confidence on the back of an acute injury pile-up has caused its poor run of results.

He said after Sunday’s home 26-16 home defeat by Whitehaven:

“I can’t describe how disappointed I am. To come out of a home game with just a bonus point is pretty tough.

“Every game in this competition can be described as must-win, but if we focus on things like that we merely put ourselves under even more pressure.

“We are doing everything we can, even pulling players in to help us out.

“It’s disheartening and its tough and we seem to be hit by one blow after another.

“Look what happened to Lewis Reed (new loan signing). He’s a prop and in the two sessions he had with us ahead of the Whitehaven game we prepared him to come off the bench at prop.

“But when Valu Bentley quit after ten minutes with a pulled calf muscle Reed had to replace him in the second-row. He played the rest of the match there and did a good job, but I felt sorry for the lad because all the prep we had done with him was worthless. That in itself caused a lot of disruption.

“Each week we are doing what we think is right.

“In this game we had more ball than them; the penalty count was heavily in our favour; we had a better set-completion rate than they did; and we missed only seven tackles, which isn’t bad.

“A coach will always look at stats to see if anything jumps out when things are not going well, but in this case our stats were good — and we still lost the game.

“That tells me that we are down on confidence. The players gave it everything they had in terms of effort, but they have lost their self-belief when it comes to using the ball and going wide.

“It’s hard to get out of a run when nothing is going right. Keep kicking the dog and eventually it will hide under the table. There’s a bit of that about us now.

“I’ll be going home to study the DVD, but to be honest the things we need to put right won’t show up on a DVD because they concern how the players are feeling and what’s going on in their minds.”