BATLEY coach Matt Diskin is looking for more consistency from his Bulldogs side as they travel to face Sheffield Eagles on Sunday (3pm), writes Ben McKenna.
Batley have won one and lost two of their games so far this season after their 32-6 home defeat against Featherstone Rovers last Sunday.
They controlled the opening 20 minutes but were unable to find a way through the Featherstone line early on.
Diskin feels it is time for the players to draw a line under the achievements of last season, as they aim to emulate the same heroics with another top four finish.
“The lads had a fantastic season last year, maybe a little of that is still sitting with a few who think that they don’t need to do the hard work,” he said. “From our point of view we have got to put a line under last year.
“Last year was a great year, it was a great achievement for the club. The reason the players got there was because the players worked hard for each other. We have got to get back to that and I’m confident we will.”
The Bulldogs boss felt his side were second best in all departments against Featherstone, and that there is plenty of room for improvement against Sheffield.
He said: “I don’t think it was a good performance from us last weekend, Featherstone were very good, I thought they dominated just about every aspect of the game.
“The first 20 minutes we had plenty of opportunity, we created overlaps, we had more numbers but we were too lateral in attack and needed to be more direct and take advantage, which we didn’t.
“I think the lads didn’t handle the pressure of not scoring, they were frustrated when they weren’t scoring in the first 20 minutes and you could see that as we conceded two tries against the run of play.
“We need to be better at dealing with pressure situations, dealing with frustration and it is a continual process in educating the players how to deal with that.”
Sheffield themselves have endured an inconsistent start to the season, having lost twice, but they notched an impressive 32-14 win over Toulouse in their second game, and Diskin is unsure what to expect from his opponents this Sunday.
He said: “I think a lot depends on who falls back from their dual registration with Leigh.
“You look at a couple of weeks ago with that number they did on Toulouse – they played some great rugby and those Leigh players made a massive contribution towards that.
“They struggled at the weekend against Halifax, so much like ourselves they are struggling for a bit of consistency so it should be an interesting game.
“What I’m after at the moment is some quality performances, we need to add some consistency to the quality we have and the results will begin to look after themselves,” added Diskin.
Batley will be able to welcome Adam Gledhill back into consideration as he edges closer to a return from injury, and new signing Joel Farrell should also be available this week as he makes his return from injury.
Batley have suffered an injury blow as loose forward Danny Bravo has torn his ACL and will most likely be out for the remainder of the season.