DEWSBURY boss Lee Greenwood has admitted that the 1895 Cup comes as more of a distraction as his side faces the prospect of a relegation battle. Last Sunday’s dramatic 22-17 defeat at Swinton Lions, one of their fellow strugglers, leaves them only three points above the drop zone with just three wins this season.
Greenwood says there is “no hiding away” from the fact that relegation is a real possibility, and as a consequence the Rams’ entry into the new knockout competition for lower-league clubs – with a shot at a Wembley final – comes at an inconvenient time. Ahead of Sunday’s reunion with Swinton at the Tetley’s Stadium (kick-off 3pm), the Dewsbury boss said: “At the start of the season I was looking forward to it. I thought it was a good chance to play at Wembley, which not many of our players will ever have the opportunity to do.
“But for where we’re at in the league table it probably is a distraction. Now we’re here, we’re short on wins and confidence. I think even if it was just a friendly or a game of touch and pass in a car park, we need to win for confidence. So that’s what we’re aiming to do this Sunday.
“If I was to win one of (the Swinton games) it would be Sunday just gone for the league points,” he admitted. “But we’re playing them this week and it’s a good chance to put Sunday’s result right by getting a win. We want to do that in front of our home fans.”
Despite coming away from Swinton with nothing last weekend, Greenwood believes that the Rams were the better side over the course of the match.“I thought we were, just with a 12-point advantage with 20 minutes to go we have to close the game out and play smarter than what we did,” he said.
“Take nothing away from Swinton, they’ve got a never-say-die attitude, they look like they’ve got a good group who work hard for each other and that brought them home in the end.”
Of the winning try after Michael Knowles had scored a field goal to edge them back in front foot, he said: “We just needed to either get the ball back off the kick-off or defend the next set, but we didn’t. We didn’t get the ball from the kick-off and they crashed over. It’s disappointing; I thought we were the better team overall but we didn’t get the points.
“There have been three or four games like that over the course of the season. It would make everything feel different to us if we’d picked up more points, but now we are where we are, under pressure. We need to pick up points quickly.”
Greenwood has declared that changes will be made to the team after that showing, with prop Martyn Reilly now available for selection for the first time this season having made two appearances for Wakefield Trinity’s reserves team. Cam Leeming has also been given the all-clear to resume full-contact training following his facial injuries, while Paul Sykes remains a couple of weeks away from a return. However, the loss of Callum Field has been followed by a blow for another Wigan loanee, with Ben Kilner sustaining an ankle injury in last weekend’s defeat.