Kear wary of Sheffield response

Batley coach John Kear is expecting his former club Sheffield to be at their best tonight when they meet the Bulldogs.

Batley head to Sheffield tonight to take on the Eagles. The Eagles lost 60-22 last round at Halifax, which has seen them drop into the bottom four.

Meanwhile, the Bulldogs extended their winning run to four matches with a 42-18 victory against Oldham.

“We were very happy with the win and now we’re ready for Sheffield on Friday,” Kear said.

“In patches against the so-called bigger teams, they’ve looked threatening. I think it’s been against teams where, perhaps, they’ve been expected to win that they haven’t really turned up and performed.

“Obviously you’ve got to be very wary of them particularly at their place, it’s a very, very big pitch both length-wise and width-wise and they utilise it very well.

“There’s plenty of ball movement and plenty of questions asked by the Sheffield defence, so we know it’s going to be a tough game, especially in warm, dry conditions.

“We’ve just got prepare like it’s going to be Sheffield at their best.”

Batley stand-off Cain Southernwood is a doubt with an ankle injury.

Sheffield coach Mark Aston says his team just has to “get on with it”.

“We can play, we can score we just need the bounce of the ball and a bit of luck,” he said.

“But you make your own luck. I’ve got no qualms about this team being able to score points we just need a better mentality towards defence.

“The pleasing thing for me is that we’ve got a few back. Last week we went into the game with just 17 fit players and that’s not a good thing.

“We’ve got Duane Straugheir back this week, which is a big bonus for us.

“Batley have had continuity and brought in one or two people who are used to winning with good attitudes like Dom (Brambani), Patch (Walker) and Jimmy Davey who have been very good for them.

“They are high on confidence and we’re not. It’s a challenge, we’re desperate and if we’re desperate we’ve got a chance of winning the game.

“One day it will click and that’s what we’re hoping for. We’ve worked hard in training and hopefully we can get a response.”

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