Thursday, 25 May 2017

Saturday's Coming: Oldham

Give us a wave: get your factor 50 on for a day at the seaside
And so to Blackpool, where Oldham coach Scott Naylor is seeking to sort out his side’s current defensive crisis. Having shipped an incredible 122 points in their last two games, Oldham come to the seaside riding the crest of a slump - knowing that their form away from home has been somewhat poor, swallowing 48 points at Hull KR, 50 at Batley, 58 at Toulouse, 74 at London Broncos and 48 in the recent Batley home game -  played at Manchester's Regional Arena.

According to the Oldham Chronic, preparations for this weekend have been all about defence:
"Our attacking against Batley last Sunday was good, especially in the first half,” said Naylor: ”But we need a massive improvement in defence against Rochdale and that was the theme of last night's training session.”

"It's not just the physical aspect of tackling well; it's the individual and collective attitude towards defence that needs to be looked at.

Indeed, defence is all about attitude - and that really is something you can’t coach.

OLDHAM will be mising on-loan Castlefords centre Kieran Gill (recalled by the Tigers) and prop Phil Joy’s season is over after he dislocated his left shoulder in his first game back after dislocating his shoulder. Ouch. Utility back Scott Turner comes back into contention, having missed two weeks with concussion.

Oldham currently sit one place above Hornets in the Championship with a two point cushion - so a win at Bloomfield Road would see Hornets leapfrog them on points difference (Hornets currently with a 52 point advantage). Gav Bennion, Joe Taira and Ben Moores are back to boost the Hornets squad, for what is real old-fashioned crunch-game.

Down at the other end of the A627M, Oldham are already bragging that they’ve sold three times the number of tickets as Hornets - but we all know a) it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog that matters and b) selling three times the tickets worked a treat for them at Leigh in 2013.

So get yourself off beside the seaside. Hornets fans look to have been accommodated in Block K - so bring your best singing voice and wear your colours with pride. We’re due for a win - and this one would be a great way to kick-start the back half of our season.