BATLEY are aiming for two wins in their next two fixtures to secure their Championship status, according to coach Matt Diskin.
The Bulldogs go to bottom-placed side Rochdale on Sunday (kick-off 3pm), before hosting Dewsbury in the Heavy Woollen derby the following weekend.
Diskin’s side are only two places and four points above the drop zone after a run of seven league matches without a win, while they were defeated by Sheffield last weekend in the semi-finals of the 1895 Cup.
That means it is back to the league grind for Batley, but Diskin says they must show a big improvement on the error-strewn performance that saw their hopes of appearing at Wembley brought to an end.
“We’ve got some very important fixtures, the next two games are massive for us,” he said. “If we get two wins there I think that will secure it.
“But if we show the lack of respect that we are at the moment for the ball, it’s going to be a tough couple of weeks for us. We’ve got to get back to it and try and ride the emotional upset (of last week).”
Diskin admitted he was at a loss as to how he can influence his team’s performance after watching their defeat to the Eagles in despair.
He said: “I’d prefer it to be a system or structural thing, because as a coach you can control that.
“As a coach you do all the work in the world but if the players are going to drop the ball or throw a loose pass, I can’t control what’s going on between their ears. I’m not a psychologist unfortunately, and that’s probably what this group needs.
“I can never fault this group for effort, the effort is there. They’re not the smartest group, they lack game intelligence and they lack concentration, and that’s probably why they’re playing at this level and not a higher level.”
Batley were boosted by a number of returnees last weekend, with scrum-half Dom Brambani and back-rowers Jack Downs and Paul Brearley making timely returns from injury to boost the squad ahead of the run-in.
Wayne Reittie will make his 150th appearance for the club if he keeps his place on the wing against Rochdale, with the winger making 26 appearances in his first spell at the club in 2011 and playing 123 times since returning in 2014.
The Hornets will be relegated to League One if they fail to win on Sunday, having won just once in the league all season.
The Bulldogs were pushed close by them earlier in the season, scraping home for an 18-12 win in February’s league reverse, before picking up a more convincing 38-18 success in the 1895 Cup in June for a ninth consecutive win over their opponents.