‘No more blips’, ScottDate published: Friday, August 14, 2015
AHEAD of Sunday’s big game at Newcastle Thunder, Scott Naylor has warned his promotion-chasing Oldham squad that they can’t afford to let their standards slip.
Top-of-the-table Roughyeds are gunning for their tenth win in a row at Kingston Park, but they started poorly at Hemel Stags last week before settling down to score a dozen tries and win 70-6.
Naylor has since revealed that at half-time, when Oldham led 22-6, he had a “rant and a rave” because he wasn’t happy with the performance.
“We were poor in the first 20 minutes, but we fixed things at half time and then went out and showed what we could do by scoring 48 points,” said the Oldham boss.
“We are in a strange position. We are close to the top-two play-off situation, but we are also a long way off it because we’ve four games left and they are all tough, interesting games.
“We’re top now, but in another month we could be down to fourth. We’ve got to keep up the pressure and we can’t afford any more blips like we had early on at Hemel.
“We have to show Newcastle huge respect, but we have also to go out and play like we’ve been playing for the past two and a half months.
“There’s neither reason nor excuse for dropping below those high standards that we have now set ourselves.
“We’ll have to work hard and play well. We know Newcastle’s strengths, but we also know our own strengths.
“I’ve known Stanley Gene (Thunder coach) a long time. He’s a good fella. He’s a fighter and he won’t like how his team have been playing in the last four weeks.”
Thunder have lost their last four games against York, Keighley and Gloucester away and against Swinton at home.
But before that they beat York and Barrow at home and won on the road at Rochdale and at North Wales Crusaders.
Said Gene: “Oldham are a tough side, but I’ll be calling on the boys to dig deep and see if we can repeat last year’s big win in Gateshead.”
Naylor will pick from the 17 who won at Hemel plus Tom Dempsey, Richard Joy, Steve Roper and the other new signing Will Hope.