DEWSBURY RAMS chief Neil Kelly has welcomed the pressure of having too many players to choose from.
Kelly’s squad has recorded a draw against high-flyers Halifax and a win over Heavy Woollen rivals Batley in recent weeks, despite being down on first-team names.
Injuries to key players such as Gareth Moore and Jode Sheriffe paved the way for those on the fringe to put their hands up for a permanent place in the starting line-up.
And while it’s unfamiliar territory for the Rams boss to have a bigger squad with one of the smallest budgets in the Championship, Kelly is relishing the prospect.
“I can’t ignore the results we’ve produced the past couple of weeks,” said Kelly.
“Some of these players who have come in have given a good account of themselves and have every reason to think they should be in again this week.
“I want the pressure of having who to choose, it’s not a nice pressure but it’s a pressure you feel when you’ve got more than 17 players in your squad that have got a realistic chance of playing.
“Competition for places ideally creates better performances.”
The 56-year-old hopes that the recent surge in form coupled with a week off due to Challenge Cup action stands his side in good stead for Sunday’s home game against Featherstone.
However, Kelly admits the Rams need to be at their best if they’re to beat the top-four contenders.
He said: “We’re going into this game with confidence that we can produce another good performance – but that might not be good enough to get a result because Featherstone are a brilliant side.
“We’re doing some really good things, but almost by trying too hard we’re giving away great positions.
“We’re creating good situations but then when we try and create a great situation, that’s often where we make the error.
“It’s good from my point of view in a way that they’ve got the desire to want to turn them into great situations, but I think if we carried on doing what we were doing some of those situations would occur anyway.
“Against teams like Featherstone, that’s meat and drink to them and they’ll just come and destroy you if you give them that sort of situation.”
With the top four realistically out of reach for the Rams, Kelly is aiming for a mid-table finish.
“I think it’s a realistic goal to be climbing up into that mid-table category of clubs and getting away from the situation at the bottom where we’ve not got much of a safety net behind us,” said Kelly.
“So we’ve got to keep winning and with that in mind, we’ve got to produce a good performance against Featherstone.”