BATLEY BULLDOGS have added Alistair Leak to their long-term injury list ahead of their trip to Barrow on Sunday.
The interchange hooker has been ruled out for four to six weeks with a knee injury which saw him miss last week’s fixture against Whitehaven.
He joins injured second-row Sam Scott on the sidelines. He is still around a month away from returning from a broken hand.
However, the squad has been bolstered by Ben Black’s comeback and the likely return of Mark Applegarth.
Applegarth, who missed last weekend’s game with a calf injury, should make a return to Kear’s squad and the former England coach admits he is a welcome boost.
He said: “I’m confident that we will have Mark back and we have missed him. He makes a big difference out on the pitch with his work rate.”
Batley travel to Craven Park on Sunday (3pm) looking to bounce back from their disappointing defeat against ‘Haven.
The Raiders currently sit at the foot of the Kingstone Press Championship table, having won only one of their nine fixtures so far.
But coach Kear says he still remains wary of their threat following close results in recent weeks.
“This year, other than Leigh who are out on their own, everyone else is there for the taking,” he continued.
“Last week when Barrow played Doncaster, who are sitting second at the moment, I think that the best team lost. They have also beaten Sheffield away.
“It is a long journey, I am happy with that. It is ideal for preparation.
“It allows me to get amongst them and get in the minds of the players.
“Barrow have Niall Evalds at full-back, who is scoring tries for fun.
“He is from Salford and has some Super League appearances under his belt.
“He does look like a Super League player, so we have to be wary of him.”
Although he has pinpointed Evalds, Kear says he remains focused on his team and admits they must perform much better.
He added: “We need to be consistently better, not just better for the next game.
“With the threat of relegation, their is a focus on every performance.
“We are really not playing as well as we can and I know we are much better than this, we just seem to lack enthusiasm.
“We have had too many changes of late both on the field and in the backroom staff, we need to start to build with what we have.”
The Batley Bulldogs Supporters Club will be running a bus to Barrow on Sunday, it leaves Branch Road at 10am and is picking up at Tapp Rooms, Commercial and Birstall.
It is priced at £15 for adults and £7.50 for kids, contact Dave King on 07428 107632 after 4pm or ring Station Coaches on 01924 477230.