Dewsbury Rams head coach Lee Greenwood has had is say ahead of our huge Betfred Championship fixture with Barrow Raiders this weekend.
He said ahead of the match: “I am excited for the game, when the lads play like they did at York and I know we all came away disappointed with the outcome, but I do look forward to seeing them play like that. I do know there were some painful defeats in the past where we were beaten narrowly, but I like to see my team play like that where they get stuck in and play with an intensity.
“If you can guarantee that they will turn up like that on Sunday against Barrow then yes I am looking forward to it. Nothing will get decided on Sunday, I don’t feel the massive pressure to be honest because it isn’t a massive surprise to me. I thought we always would be down there. What I didn’t think would happen would be that those teams that are around us would be, because when you look at those teams a lot of them have had their coaches in place for a few years now. The settled squads they had and the budgets I didn’t think some of those teams would be in the mixer. When you are down there and struggling under pressure, then you are hoping the other teams under you crumble a little bit.
“Those teams in and around us are maybe hoping that us or Barrow lose on Sunday and just fall away and then it’s done without them having to do anything. The pressure comes when one of us win on Sunday, then if the other teams can pick up a couple of wins over the next few weeks it’s the teams above that will start to feel the pressure. If we lose on Sunday then we are relegated and if we win we aren’t safe and that goes for Barrow too. There is no shying away from the fact that it is third from bottom vs second bottom and we are on the same points, and whoever wins goes two points ahead. However all the bottom teams are playing each other this weekend, it’s funny how the fixtures have worked out, and that might mean the table may change slightly. Whether that will mean anyone can make themselves mathematically safe or make them self relegated then it won’t. It could come down to the last day this. Would I rather be safe with eight more points on the board? Which we probably should be with the games that we could have won, then yes. My eyes would be firmly working towards next year. As it is we have to focus week to week on picking results up, but like I say the other teams are the same. Looking at their remaining fixtures they know they have to win this weekend. Batley will be under pressure at Swinton, and Widnes will be looking to beat Rochdale and then hoping one of us or Barrow will fall away and die off.
“There is a lot to play for, we are hitting a run of games where we are facing part time teams. I feel like we have a chance of winning any game if we turn up with the right attitude, so I am not panicking about this weekend, or feeling massive pressure. I know what we need to do, I am not daft I can see the league table, but nothing will be decided one way or another.
“Barrow have had a bit of resurgence in the last few weeks despite losing last weekend against Toulouse. That is to be expected though, they have beaten Halifax at their place a couple of weeks ago and they had a good win away at Featherstone too. They also lost away at Leigh by a point in a mid-week game, they will come here confident and maybe expecting to win. We are a little bit different to that, we have been through some very, very tough fixtures with the way they have panned out. We have now come out the other side of it, yes with some heavy defeats and it does knock you a little bit, but now we need to be looking upwards.
“As I said we are now coming into a run of fixtures against part time teams, we started on the right track on Sunday against York and in the second half against Widnes a little bit. The start we made at York was fantastic, then through technical things we let the lead slip before half time and again at the end of the match. However the start that we made meant that we knew it could be a good game and you were going to enjoy watching us being competitive. Hopefully now in this run against part time sides we can be really competitive.”
On the injury front, Greenwood gave an update.
He said: “We are a bit broken at the minute, we are struggling a little bit due to the tough nature of the schedule that we have had. Numbers wise we are ok we can put a 17 out, but I think it would be too much pressure playing some of the young lads who haven’t played much. It wouldn’t be fair on them, to chuck them in, but if needs must we’ll have to. There are some positions we are very, very light in, Andy Gabriel is missing through suspension and Dale Morton is missing through personal issues. So that means we are down to one winger, so that is where we are at. Robbie Ward went off injured at York and Sam Day is recovering from a shoulder injury. So in the nine position you are looking at the next person which is Harvey Whiteley who has only played one Championship fixture which was in Toronto. So in a few positions we are struggling a bit, but I still feel we have enough in this squad to cover those areas.”