Tough decisions for Scott

Date published: Friday, May 16, 2014
SCOTT Naylor admits he will be doing a lot of soul-searching before he names his Oldham side for the big game with York City Knights.
The 17 players who put 48 points on Oxford last time out, but also conceded 28, came through unscathed and are ready to go again in Sunday’s clash with second-in-the-table Knights at Whitebank (3pm).
Another half a dozen players are also in the selection mix, and they include on-loan half-back Steve Roper, who came initially for a month and still hasn’t played after two weeks at Whitebank.
Tom Whitehead, Ben Wood, Jason Boults, Mark Hobson and Adam Files were also on the outside looking in when a much-changed side scored eight tries against Tony Benson’s Blues in the Roughyeds’ best attacking display so far.
A guarded Naylor, speaking after training last night, said he had 23 players available and he would have tough decisions to make in naming the side which he considered to have the best chance of putting the Knights to the sword.
“The boys played well against Oxford and that’s got to be a major consideration,” he said.
“If I decide to make changes they have to be the right decisions for the right reasons, and not merely for the sake of putting somebody in.”
Skipper Lewis Palfrey isn’t going to be discarded after his excellent game a fortnight ago so it would appear that the toughest of his “tough decisions” will be that of Brett Robinson or Roper to partner Palfrey in the key roles at the fulcrum of the attack.
Hunslet and York, the top two, each have 19 points from seven games. Oldham, in third place, are five points behind with a game in hand.
Naylor dismisses the notion that pressure is on the Roughyeds given that anything other than an Oldham win would see the top two heading off into the distance.
He said: “Obviously, you always want to keep in touch, but there’s a long way to go yet. If we were to dwell too much on things like that at this early part of the season we could easily see panic set in when there is absolutely no need.
“If we worry about where Hunslet and York are in the table we are not focusing on what we are doing.
“We will end up where we deserve to end up.
“Results and league positions in the jostle for play-off advantages will all take care of themselves if we play well consistently, like we did last year.
“Our focus on Sunday is to play at least as well as we did against Oxford if not better. If we do that, we’ll see where it takes us.”