DEWSBURY RAMS head coach Lee Greenwood is confident he can put a winning side together as they prepare for their first game of the season.
Last weekend’s opening clash away at Rochdale Hornets was postponed due to a frozen pitch, meaning that their first Championship game comes on Sunday (kick-off 3pm) when they host York City Knights.
The coach admitted some frustration after last week’s false start.
“It’s a bit annoying,” he said. “Every other team has played so it would have been nice to start as planned.
“There’s nothing we can do now though, so we’ll just crack on.”
Greenwood has admitted in recent weeks that some of his new recruits are not ready for regular Championship action yet, but he insists that he has confidence in the squad available to him.
“We’ve got plenty of numbers knocking around; it’s just getting the right combinations,” he said.
“I don’t think anyone would look out of place if we put them in, but for where I want the team to be there’s maybe a couple who aren’t quite ready for it.
“Obviously we want to go and win as well. We don’t just want to go in there and look okay, it’s not what we’re about.
“We want to put a team out that can actually win, not just compete. I’m sure whichever 17 we go with on Sunday will be able to do that job.”
Dewsbury faced York in their final pre-season fixture three weeks ago, with the Knights comfortably winning 34-0 against an experimental line-up.
“It was more to see where some of our lads were at to be honest, and what was shown was that that group of players together obviously wasn’t Championship standard,” said Greenwood.
“If they’re put in one at a time then those guys will be fine, but it’s something we’ve looked at and we’ll look at again for Sunday.”
Greenwood expects better things this time around, particularly playing in front of a home crowd at the Tetley’s Stadium.
He said: “I hope there’s a different result! If we get beat 34-0 again then it will be pretty doom and gloom, won’t it?
“So we’re hoping that will be a lot closer. Obviously we’re at home and it’s our first game of the season now because of last week, so we’re wanting to put a bit of a show on and just show teams that it will be a difficult place to come again. That’s what we’re hoping for on Sunday.”
The coach strengthened his squad last week with the addition of former Leeds academy hooker Harvey Whiteley, and he is happy to give the 20-year-old a chance to impress.
“We’ve signed a lot of those kind of guys to be honest. Lads who are in that 19-22 bracket, who for whatever reason haven’t cut it at the level of above or are getting the opportunity to step up to this level.
“So I’m trying to a) work out which guys might have the potential once they get into it, and b) actually allow them to come through.
“It was never going to be the case that they were all ready straight away, but over the course of the season I’m sure we’ll see plenty of these guys getting a chance.”
Rams fans will have to wait a little longer to see Whiteley in action though, with the ex-Rhino coming back from a shoulder operation back in October.
Greenwood said: “He’s just been recovering from that. He’s doing almost everything in training, barring contact, so once that full contact comes then it’s on him to fight his way into the team and we’ll take it from there.
“His attitude has been spot on and he’s been good in training so far.”
Dewsbury are without their first-choice hooker for the Knights clash, with Robbie Ward set to serve the final part of a two-match suspension after last week’s postponement.
Following York’s promotion out of League One last season, it is the first time that the two sides have met in a league game since 2013, with the most recent competitive meeting coming when the Rams defeated their opponents 30-16 in the fifth round of the Challenge Cup in 2016.