Roden Upbeat

Date published: Tuesday, August 14, 2012

STAND-IN boss Martin Roden remains upbeat about Oldham RL Club’s chances of finishing in the play-off top six despite the 46-22 defeat by Doncaster at Whitebank in his first game in charge.

Four clubs are chasing two play-off spots still up for grabs so its likely to go down to the last league games on Sunday, September 2 when Roughyeds go to Gateshead, who haven’t won a game all season.

Third-placed Workington come to Whitebank on Sunday (3pm), out to avenge Oldham’s 24-14 win at Derwent Park on the opening day of the league campaign.

Several players will tonight be treated for injuries picked up in the Doncaster game, among them winger Lucas Onyango (chest), utility forward Alex Thompson (shoulder) and winger Chris Murphy (leg).

Said Roden: “Despite last Sunday’s setback I’m relishing this job. I didn’t have much time to put my stamp on it in the build-up to the Doncaster game, but I’m in my second week now and then we’ve got a weekend without a game between the Workington and Gateshead matches.

“I could do no more than tweak one or two things last week, but I’m now able to do more and we’ll be concentrating heavily on sorting out our defence.

“By dropping a ball or giving away a penalty it doesn’t necessarily mean that we have to concede a try and that’s something I need to ram home.

“It was a huge plus to score 22 points against a team like Doncaster with the relatively small amount of possession we had, but we do need to square up the defence if we are to give ourselves a chance of making the play-offs.

“Whatever happens I’ll be happy with myself if we improve both individually and as a group over the next two games.”

The search for a new head coach, meanwhile, is already under way. The post has been advertised.

Said chairman Chris Hamilton: “We are starting with a clean slate. We hope to get a new man installed in readiness for all the preparation work that needs to be done for the 2013 season.

“As for the players they have a lot to prove before the end of this season, be it to themselves, the club or future employers. Nothing less than 100 per cent will do.”

The Supporters Association are having a Challenge Cup quiz at Whitebank on Thursday (8pm). Admission is £1, maximum of six to a team.

The under-18s end-of-season presentations are on Friday (7.30), admission £4 (under-16s free) including pie and peas supper.

Paul Ashton’s Roughyeds reserves are at Featherstone on Saturday (5.30) in their play-off final, transport from the Junction at £10 a head (ring 633 2759).

The Junction will put on free transport to Whitebank for the Workington game on Sunday. Seats must be reserved in advance.