Dewsbury Rams head coach Lee Greenwood is expecting a tough test up at Whitehaven tonight in the Challenge Cup.
The Rams have won three out of their first four games in the season and are wanting to make it four from five tonight up in Cumbria.
A TOUGH TEST AT WHITEHAVEN
On the fixture this evening he said: “I am looking forward to the trip up and it will give us chance to have some team bonding on the bus.
“We’ve won three games in a row and we haven’t done that in my time at the club so far, and I don’t know when the last time Dewsbury did that, however we are wanting to make it four wins in a row tonight.
“There will be some changes to the team, I am excited to see some of these lads play and seeing if they can take the opportunity given to them.
“It’s going to be hard but I am pleased about the draw because we are playing someone in our division. It’s going to need a big test of character, it’s difficult because it’s a mid-week game and lads are taking half days or full days off off of work to make the trip.
“It’s going to be heavy going is the pitch, and so there are plenty of excuses for the lads to give if we don’t perform tonight, however I am not about that. You don’t need to make excuses because you are there to do a professional job not just when you get there but on how you prepare for it.”
GIVING OTHER LADS A CHANCE
Greenwood has explained that this match is giving some lads a chance that haven’t played much in the team so far this season.
He said: “We’ll get to see some different lads and what they can do, some lads want game time, some want to prove they can play at this level, some want to make their debut and some want to claim a regular spot. Every player in the squad wanted to play in this one which says a lot about the group of players we have at the club now. Everyone wants us to win and get through it and everyone wants to play in a possible game on Sunday.
“We want to go there and win as a group, but as individuals they’ll also want to win to be part of the winning team. Some of these lads have trained really hard and deserve a chance to play, because if I don’t give them a chance tonight when can I?”
“I have to be smart as we have a small squad, and I have to manage that, because some lads will be possibly playing three games in a week. We have Toulouse next in the league and we might have played three games before that fixture where they will have had a rest, so that Toulouse game is going to be a massive test of character for the whole squad.
“So some of the decisions I have taken is because I want to try and keep our league form up, no disrespect to cup games but league form is the priority. I want to make sure we retain our Championship status as soon as possible and once we have done that we can look up and look to other things.”
WHITEHAVEN AS AN OPPOSITION
On Whitehaven as an opposition, Greenwood said: “We are going there to win it, we know it’s going to be hard and Whitehaven will be up for it because they need to get a win in any competition to kick start their season. They have improved over the last few games since this fixture was supposed to have been played. They have had it tough because they have played Toulouse at home and Widnes away, when watching them back they have actually competed well in both those games. it’s just getting used to the level of opposition that they are playing this year.
“They have a tight nit bunch up there and I am sure when they get that second and third win they will really trouble teams in this division.
“We want to progress tonight in the cup and we actually play them in the league in two weeks time after we face Toulouse. So the guys who are playing they will want to do everything they can to win and get into the team in the next few weeks.
“The pitch tonight will be what it is, the pitch against Oldham was heavy and when we played Widnes it was a mud bath so we aren’t going to be surprised by it.
“We are on a good run ourselves and so if Whitehaven want to beat us then they’ll have to play well.
“What is good that the lads just want to play to win, they aren’t bothered about the opposition, they are getting into the habit of it doesn’t matter who we play they just want to win.
“They know that they are having to play well to beat teams and if the effort levels drop below that then we will lose, and obviously we are hoping that isn’t tonight.
“We have won three in a row and we want to keep that going through the cup games.”