Diskin still has faith in his Bulldogs despite stuttering start

BATLEY boss Matt Diskin believes that his players have the quality to replicate the team’s success from last season – but they must add consistency after a stuttering start.

The Bulldogs host Oldham at Mount Pleasant on Sunday (3pm), and go into Sunday’s game off the back of a surprising 34-16 away win over Toulouse Olympique in the fourth round of the Challenge Cup.

Diskin feels that the win was a perfect response to the 44-6 defeat that Batley suffered against Toulouse in their opening game off the season from the beginning of February.

“The success from last year has put the club in a really good position and some of the players aren’t used to being in this position,” he said.

“We have been coming up short in terms of our application, the players know they need to work harder than they did last year and I think that is starting to sink in now.

“I thought it was a great response from the players on Saturday, we had a few selection issues with not being able to pick the Castleford players and a few of the players have pregnant wives, so we were only to play with one half-back.

“Not many teams will go to France with one half-back and pull off a win. Our forwards were outstanding and all the players showed real pride in the jersey which is a huge improvement from what we have seen in previous weeks.”

Oldham have taken three points from their opening five league games but Diskin is not expecting an easy afternoon, with the Roughyeds only losing by two points to both Featherstone Rovers and London Broncos earlier in the season.

He said: “Oldham have a fantastic team and they are coached very well, they are tough and aggressive and we are going to have to meet that style head on.

“We need to build on the performance from last week and start putting some consistency together, a run of wins will get us the momentum we need to push in the right direction.

“Everybody is available for selection this week apart from Cain Southernwood who has got a broken rib, so we will go into the game confident we can win with almost a full squad available.”

Diskin was happy with Batley’s draw for the fifth round of the Challenge Cup – but despite Dewsbury’s poor run of form Diskin will still expect a close game when the sides meet on April 23.

He said: “The draw could’ve been worse but it could have been better as well, both teams will fancy their chances with it being a local derby.

“We want to go as far in the Challenge Cup as we possibly can, both teams will go into the game after a tough Easter period with us  playing three games in eight days.

“We have a big-enough squad and a talented-enough squad so we believe we will be able to make it through that tough part of the year.”

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