“More of the same please”…..Naylor

Date published: Wednesday, September 17, 2014
SCOTT Naylor has challenged his Oldham players to put up the shutters at York and defend as solidly as they did in the first half at Hunslet.
After a weekend off on the back of their gutsy 25-24 play-off win at the South Leeds Stadium on Friday, the squad reported back for training last night.
The Hunslet game was “put to bed” in a team meeting ¬†before the focus switched to what will be required in Sunday’s qualifying semi-final at the Huntington Stadium (3pm) against a York side already basking in the glory of finishing top and lifting the Kingstone Press Championship One trophy.
“Anything else apart, we’ve got to play with the bottle and the character we had in abundance at Hunslet,” said the Roughyeds boss.
“In the first half all we did was defend and to turn around only 12-7 behind was an incredible effort. If we play with the same resolve defensively at York we’ll be well in the mix.
“We showed a level of maturity we didn’t have in last year’s play-offs and that augurs well.”
Last beaten at home by Oxford on April 13, the City Knights have won their last ten games and plan to win through to the play-off final at the first time of asking.
The 17 Oldham players who earned the right to deny them their fast-track route to the big day at Headingley on October 5 are all fit and available for selection.
“There are one or two niggles, but nothing that will keep anybody out,” said Naylor, who will stick to his usual policy of holding back on team selection until Saturday.
Brett Robinson, who didn’t play at Hunslet after damaging an ankle in the final league game against Gloucester, is unlikely to play again this season.
Added Naylor: “I’ll be surprised if he is available in the next week or two. I’m not writing him off, but he has ankle ligament damage and that sort of injury usually takes its time to heal.”
George Stokes, who normally referees in Super League and the Championship, will handle the York game  in which Oldham will bid to avenge their 54-12 league defeat in July.