DEWSBURY Rams boss Neil Kelly says the pressure is off his team as they host Super League outfit Wakefield Trinity in the sixth round of the Challenge Cup tonight (Fri, 8pm).
Kelly is hoping that the relatively small Tetley’s Stadium pitch will benefit his team as they ready themselves for a physical battle.
“We are going to give it our best shot, Wakefield have been a good side on their pitch and on bigger pitches. The confined space makes it more of a physical battle and it gives us an opportunity to contest the game more,” said Kelly.
“In many ways this is a free game for us, we are focusing on the league and we need some wins in the league.
“We have a chance to express ourselves, it is a great opportunity for the players and the club and we are really looking forward to it.”
With Wakefield going into the game as overwhelming favourites Kelly’s main priority, rightfully, is the league competition as he aims to lift Dewsbury from the bottom two places of the Kingstone Press Championship.
Kelly was pleased with the way his players competed with Halifax in their 36-18 loss last Sunday, and although he is disappointed by the result he feels that his side are showing signs of improvement.
The defeat was Dewsbury’s 11th of the league season and, with Swinton producing a shock win over third-placed Toulouse, Kelly’s side are now four points behind the Lions in 10th.
“There were massive positives to take from the game against Halifax, for 60 minutes we matched Halifax and for large parts we were slightly better,” said Kelly.
“We need to cut out the 20 minutes after half-time where we are slow coming out of the blocks. By the time we got going again on Sunday the game had gone beyond us.
“The players deserve a lot of credit, things will take a little bit of time to get better, we need to show urgency and desire for 80 minutes and then more wins will come.
“We don’t lack belief and confidence, when things start to go against us we need to react in a better way. We have a good set of players and we need to build on the good things we are doing.”