Stand by for Thunder AND lightning

Date published: Wednesday, August 12, 2015
SCOTT Naylor has warned of a Newcastle backlash from their shock defeat at Gloucester which all but ended the Geordies’ play-off ambitions.

Top-of-the-table Oldham head to the North-East on Sunday seeking their tenth win in a row, but Naylor believes there couldn’t be a worse time to play on the artificial pitch at Kingston Park.
Stanley Gene’s Thunder, one of the pre-season favourites to take League One by storm, slipped to their ninth defeat in 18 games at Gloucester to become the first northern side in more than a year to be overturned by southerners.
Said Naylor: “Knowing Stanley as I do, he’ll be desperate to hit back from that by beating us.
“This week he’ll be working harder than ever with his lads to make sure they are at their absolute best on Sunday.”
Having beaten Thunder 45-20 at Whitebank in May, Roughyeds will be looking to complete their fourth double of the season.
Adam Neal (back), Gareth Owen (ankle) and David Hewitt (blistered feet) didn’t train last night as precautionary measures, but all three are expected to be back in action tomorrow night and available for selection by weekend.
Hewitt’s feet became full of blisters after his impressive performance on a rock-hard pitch in a 70-6 win at Hemel Stags.
Providing these three are all fit, Naylor will pick from the 17 who played at Hemel plus Steve Roper, Tom Dempsey, Richard Joy and deadline-day capture Will Hope, who is still waiting for his debut.
Added Naylor: “Everybody in the squad wants to play and that’s how it should be. My job is to pick a team to win at Newcastle.”
Adam Clay (broken ribs) and Jack Holmes (strained foot) were both “improving and feeling better” at training last night when they each did a session on the bike.