DEWSBURY boss Lee Greenwood says that defence will be key to his side’s chances of success when they take on Leigh Centurions this weekend.
The Rams are fresh from a 70-8 rocking at the hands of runaway leaders Toronto last week, when they were forced to change almost half of their line-up with a number of players unable to make the trip.
Greenwood says that there were “no surprises” in that result in the circumstances, with attention now turning to this Sunday (kick-off 3pm) when play-off chasing Leigh come to the Tetley’s Stadium.
“We were missing a lot of players so once you get that back, if we can get what we’d consider to be our strongest team then we’ll give teams a game,” he said.
“We need to defend well. Leigh aren’t quite at Toronto’s level, although they’re getting somewhere near, but you’ll have to defend well to keep them out because they throw a lot of attack at you and they’ve done that for a number of years.
“We’ve shown that we can beat some of these teams if they have a slight off day, but it all stems from defence. If we’re going to concede a lot of points then we’ve got no chance of winning. If we can defend tough and make teams nervy, then we’ve got a chance.”
Greenwood admits that other results last weekend, which saw fellow strugglers Swinton and Barrow pick up shock wins over Toulouse and Halifax respectively, puts into sharp focus the importance of getting some more wins over sides above them in the table if they want to stay clear of relegation trouble.
“We’re struggling if we’re just keeping our fingers crossed every week that the other teams don’t win. We need to look after ourselves, it’s all in our own hands,” he said.
“Barrow have shown that they can beat a good Championship team, and Swinton have shown that they can beat a full-time as well. We’ve all done it, we’ve all shown now that we can.
“There are a lot of twists and turns that will happen, but we’re struggling if we’re just keeping our fingers crossed that Swinton and Barrow are going to lose every week. We need to look after ourselves and make sure that we get the points.”
The battle with the Centurions marks the beginning of a run of three matches in the space of just seven days, with away trips to Widnes in the 1895 Cup on the Wednesday and York in the Championship four days later.
The Rams boss admits the scheduling of the cup competition makes it difficult for his side to challenge in the heat of a relegation battle but says he will continue to take things one game at a time.
“We’re not in a position to be fighting on all fronts at the moment, as much as I’d like to. But then it’s hard to say target one or two of those games, because you just don’t know come the end of it what might have been. Let’s worry about them as they come along first,” said Greenwood.
He also says that although he has a bigger squad than most coaches to approach this busy run of matches, that doesn’t mean he is capable of wholesale rotation.
“The squad looks big on numbers, but when you’re looking at proven Championship players it’s arguably one of the smallest,” said the coach.
“There are a lot of lads in there who are getting their first taste of being at a Championship club, so it would be daft to throw everybody in and think that they could do well.”
The squad became one player smaller this week with the release of centre Cameron Leeming to take up a deal at League One side Oldham.
The centre played only three times for the club, suffering fractured cheek bones in his final game in the Challenge Cup against Thatto Heath.