Kingstone Press League 1 Preview: Newcastle Thunder v Oldham

Stanley Gene’s Newcastle Thunder became the first northern team to lose to a southern outfit this year.

He said: “I’m really really disappointed with last week, it’s the worst game I’ve watched since I’ve been coaching.

“Sometimes when you look at the team and how they’re playing it’s pretty hard to pick them up but it’s part of my job to get some confidence back into them. But everyone under-performed.

“I thought we would kick on from that last game and get some confidence going into the last four games but it didn’t happen. It’s really disappointing but we’ve just got to get back and start working.

“We’ve got a tough one against Oldham and it will be a really good challenge. We need a win at home to put a smile back on the faces of the supporters, the players themselves, the board, the sponsors and everybody.

“People behind the scenes are doing really well to market the game and we’re going to get a good crowd, so we’re looking at putting in one of our best performances and what better way to do it against Oldham, who are sitting at the top of the tree.”

Oldham coach Scott Naylor said: “Last week we were garbage for the first 20 minutes, we basically lost more than half of the possession we had. It was 22-6 at half-time and I was ranting and raving. I wasn’t happy with the performance, so we came out in the second half and scored 48 points.

“We’re in a little bit of a weird position. We’re close to getting to that play-off system but we’re also a long way off because we’ve got four games left and they’re all tough, interesting games. We’re at the top right now but in another month we could be in fourth.

Looking ahead to the game at Newcastle Thunder, Naylor believes that his team may be facing a backlash.

“I’ve known Stanley Gene a long time, he’s a really good fella,” he said. “The one thing Stanley is, is a fighter and he won’t like having that record and won’t like the position they’re in and he definitely won’t like their performances of the last three or four weeks.

“His team will be waiting for us when we get there; it’s probably the wrong time to get Newcastle after recent results and especially what happened last Saturday. It’s another challenge for us and one that we’ve got to face head-on.”

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