BATLEY coach John Kear believes last week’s defeat against Workington Town will stand his squad in good stead ahead of a difficult month’s fixtures.
Sunday’s Kingstone Press Championship clash against Halifax (3pm) starts a run of games that also sees Batley face Featherstone Rovers, Sheffield Eagles and Leigh Centurions.
Kear said: “We played well in patches against Workington, but we looked like a team who’d had a couple of easy wins and we weren’t used to being in a battle and having to grind a result out.
“That test, and that difficult game, will stand us in good stead this week.”
However Kear has been dealt a major blow with in-form full-back Miles Greenwood being ruled out for four to six weeks with a broken thumb, while Alex Bretherton is also doubtful for Sunday’s match.
A win at Mount Pleasant could put the Bulldogs back on track in the play-off race and on Halifax, Kear added: “I’m really impressed with them.
“They’ve copped a lot of criticism at various times in the season, but they’ve stuck to what they believed in and they’re not far behind big spending teams.”
Meanwhile, Batley have confirmed that utility forward Jay Leary has moved to Championship 1 side York City Knights on a month’s loan.
The Knights, coached by former Bulldogs boss Gary Thornton, are challenging for the title and already have another Bulldog loanee, Brad Brennan, at the Huntington Stadium.
• Club officials have decided to keep their 3pm kick-off time for Sunday’s clash with Halifax.
The previous home game with Barrow was moved to a 3pm start instead of the Bulldogs’ normal 2pm kick-off, and the attendance appeared to be a little higher than expected, so officials will trial the new time again.