Bulldogs boss Diskin playing ‘underdog’ card

Batley Bulldogs head coach Matt Diskin believes that his side will go into this weekend’s game with Featherstone Rovers as underdogs, despite their convincing 24-6 win over Halifax RLFC last Sunday. 

Sunday’s win was Diskin’s first competitive victory as Bulldogs boss and he is hoping for more of the same as his side host Featherstone at Mount Pleasant this Sunday (3pm).

Batley ran in four unanswered tries in muddy conditions before a consolation score from the visitors five minutes from time.

Dane Manning, who was released by Halifax at the end of last season, scored a try and was named man of the match.

“Dane was really solid, I thought he was really aggresive in attack and going forward with the ball,” said Diskin.

“The lads drew a line under the events of the week before, we needed to respond quickly and we delivered a very disciplined and controlled performance in tough conditions. I thought they showed good character as a group.”

Featherstone have won both of their games so far this season, beating Oldham and Halifax in two close games, and Diskin is ready for a tough test on Sunday.

He said: “I think Featherstone are very tough, they play with big middles and have a lot of experience with the coach and I think that they will go into this week’s game as favourites.

“So we have to make sure we are on the ball, that we prepare right and deliver what we practice to ensure that we put a good performance together.

“At the moment there is nothing that is needed to be said motivationally, the players are aware that they need to perform in order to get selected in the 17.”

Diskin believes that his side need to take their performances one game at a time if they are to put together a run that is good enough to challenge for a top four spot for a second consecutive season.

“The players need to perform if they want to put themselves in a similar position as they were last year in competing for that top four,” he added.

“We are taking it week by week, you hear the cliché of one game at a time and that’s what we want to do, if we do that and take care of business each week then we will be in a good position by the end of the year.

“You can’t read anything into the table at the minute, when it gets to week seven or eight things might start to take shape.

“At the moment it is really tough, the division is very open, teams who were in the lower half of the table last year have recruited exceptionally well, for us it is about taking care of business week-to-week and hopefully we can do that on Sunday.”

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