Oldham coach Scott Naylor was disappointed his side lost their unbeaten record but saw plenty of positives in the defeat at Barrow Raiders.
“Given the amount of defence we had to do and the position on the field we had to play in for most of the game, which was near our try line, I thought it was incredible,” he said.
“After 78 minutes we were only six points behind, so we can take a lot of positives out of the efforts of the lads and our defensive structure but we should never have been in those positions.
“We didn’t have any control on the game whatsoever for any part of the game. It was disappointing in that respect but I’m not disappointed with the effort the lads showed. I thought the attitude and effort was outstanding.
“Newcastle is going to be a tough game. I know Stanley (Gene) well, he gets his lads organised and fired up for games. They’ve made some great signings this year, they’re an all-round better outfit than they were last year.
“I watched them play Swinton in the semi-final of the iPro Sport Cup and they did a lot of good things. From what I can gather they’ve been playing better, so it’s going to be a massive challenge.
“I’m just hoping that the disappointment of the defeat last week fires the lads up.”
Looking ahead to this week’s game he said: “Oldham are always a very tough, physical side who have a really good coach. They are a team that are going to be up at the top at the end of the year so it’s a game I’m looking at as a benchmark to see where we’re at.”