Roughyeds Thursday

Date published: Thursday, June 28, 2012

TONY Benson and his Oldham RL players have had cards-on-the-table talks.

Chairman Chris Hamilton was also involved in the internal inquiry which followed the Roughyeds’ 30-4 hammering by Rochdale.

Benson’s men have now gone eight league games without a win and have slumped to sixth in a ten-club Championship One.

“We had a good, hard look at ourselves,” said Benson. “Everyone was given the opportunity to speak his mind. No punches were pulled.”

Before the meeting, players and management sat through a ‘video nasty’ and suffered a re-run of their worst performance of the season in the derby clash at Whitebank.

Added Benson: “We then talked about what went wrong, and we were absolutely straight and honest with each other.

“It wasn’t good enough, but we are working our socks off to get it right.

“We’ve copped for a lot of criticism and rightly so.

“We trust and respect our fans in bad times as well as good. They deserve far more than we’ve been delivering in the past few weeks.

“We’ve suffered a crisis of confidence and some of the players are trying to sort it out individually instead of doing what worked for us early in the season.

“We need to get back to basics, start playing our type of game again and go back to building pressure.

“In other words we need a change of mind-set — it’s our only option, hard as it is.

“What happened last Sunday was totally unacceptable. Individual errors are killing us, but we just need one win and we will be a different team again. We will be back on track.”

Oldham go to Whitehaven on Sunday determined to make amends.

Said Hamilton: “Everyone in the club is massively disappointed. We are in a rut, but we are doing our utmost to get out of it.

“I told the players to forget previous goals and aspirations; it’s about one thing only now and that’s winning the next game.

“We had an excellent meeting. There was no finger-wagging or shouting, but a few home-truths were spoken and we called a spade a spade.

“We are leaving no stone unturned in identifying the problems, and solving them.

“This club has never rolled over in 15 years and it isn’t going to start now.

“Our fans have stuck with us throughout this dreadful spell and you can’t put a price on that.”

Oldham will take their first look tonight at winger Callum Mulkeen, a former rugby union player from Bury, who has played for Rochdale RU and for Gloucester University.

He will be given his first run-out on the left wing in the Roughyeds Reserves side to play York City Knights at Whitebank (8pm kick off).

Jamie Dallimore is on the bench after a three-match suspension, which has kept him sidelined for six weeks.

Also in the side from the first team are Mark Brocklehurst at loose-forward and Danny Whitmore, a substitute.

Team: Nield; Bridge, Murphy, Worrall, Mulkeen; Connick, Noone; Joy, Moran, Cookson, Langtree, Cunningham, Brocklehurt; Subs: Hughes, Dallimore, Whitmore.