Martin Roden

Date published: Wednesday, August 8, 2012

MARTIN Roden jumped at the chance of becoming Oldham RL Club’s caretaker coach.

The job’s his only to the end of the season but that’s long enough, he says, to fill the squad with pride and passion.

“We’ve three games left and I’ve challenged the boys to win them all and carry us into the play-offs,” he said.

Roden (32) was departing boss Tony Benson’s right-hand man for four years, either as conditioner, assistant coach, senior player or, as in the last two seasons, all three.

When Benson was shown the door, the ex-Wigan and Leigh hooker quickly accepted an offer to step into the breach temporarily.

“It’s a natural step for a No 2,” he said. “There’s no point in being an assistant if you don’t aspire to moving up.

“I learned a lot from Tony, as I did from Andy Goodway, Graeme West, Paul Terzis and Ian Millward in my Wigan and Leigh days.

“My coaching style will be an amalgam of everything they taught me, but with my own stamp on it. I’m my own man.”

Roden, cousin to club captain Neil Roden, led training for the first time last night.

Chairman Chris Hamilton talked to the players about events of the previous 24 hours and what was expected of them under a new boss.

He said later: “We lie seventh, but we are not the seventh best team in the division.

“It’s time for players to stand up and be counted. We expect nothing less.”

Some players suffered knocks in the 42-16 loss at Barrow, but Roden expects to pick from a full-strength squad for Sunday’s home game against Doncaster (3pm).

He said: “I’ll be a proud man on Sunday, really buzzing.

“I’m drilling into the players that they must have pride in the club and pride in the shirt. ‘Pride’ is the buzz word at Whitebank now.

“In terms of how the season has gone, the players need to take a good look at themselves.

“It’s not all down to the coaching staff.

“Once the gaffer has stopped talking and the players step over the touch line, it’s up to them, as I’ve pointed out.

“We’ve two tough home games coming up, but we showed in early season that we can compete with any team in this division.

“All the players who were injured are back now, so there can be no excuses — we’ve got to go out and give it our best shot.

“We are good enough to win each of our three remaining games, and I’ve challenged the boys to go out and do it.”

The Under-23s Reserve division championship final between Featherstone and the winners of Friday’s Halifax v Oldham clash at The Shay (8pm) will be at Featherstone on Saturday, August 18 (5.30pm kick off).