Scott proud of his derby winners

Date published: Monday, August 19, 2013
SCOTT Naylor’s philosophy on team spirit is in the extreme . . . you’ve to be ready to die for the guy next to you.
“If any player of mine is not prepared to do that, he might as well not be there,” said the Oldham boss, while his young squad of Roughyeds celebrated a televised derby triumph in a rip-roaring game at Spotland.
Naylor’s men, pushed all the way, closed their 16-match Kingstone Press Championship One programme with their eighth win in nine outings and made amends for the way they dropped a point with an out-of-character second-half display in a 24-24 draw with bottom club Gloucester last time out.
The boss demanded a response — and got it.
And when analysing it, he put a lot of credence in his squad’s inner strength, in its ability to stand up and be counted in adversity and in the team spirit that knows no bounds, as preached all season by him and his assistant boss Lee Spencer.
Said Naylor; “This was a huge game for the club and for everyone associated with Roughyeds, and the way we handled it showed that last week’s performance was just a blip.
“We’ve indicated clearly, not for the first time, that we can respond to a challegne and that’s a huge asset to possess when you are preparing for a play-off series.
“We had a few words at half-time, when we trailed 13-12, and then resumed by rocking them with 18 points in a point-a-minute blitz early in the second half.
“We were fantastic in that spell, but I was proud of all 17 players not merely for what they did then, but for how they coped overall in one of the fastest and toughest games we’ve had all season.
“Rochdale are a good side, with quality, speed and strength and a good coach in Ian Talbot. It wouldn’t surprise me if we met in the play-offs, perhaps in the final.
“Once we’d established a 30-13 lead, we lacked a killer instinct to put the game to bed.
“And if you give a good side like Rochdale enough possession and good field position to get a momentum going, you are on a slippery slope, and that’s what happened.
“They got it back to 25-30, but we hung on to win it thanks, in the main, to enthusiasm, fitness, desire and the sort of team spirit I often talk about.
“Individually, Lewis Palfrey’s kicking game was good and so was his ability to try and control the game. The four on the bench also played exceedingly well.
“Liam Thompson was brilliant technically, but all four gave us a big lift when it was needed.
“I left out Jason Boults, but it was a tough decision. He has handled it unbelievably professionally and it says a lot about him and his commitment that he was more than happy to help out the backroom staff by looking after and distributing the water bottles.”