McCormack ready for Thunder return

Andy Morris (shoulder) is Gateshead Thunder’s major concern ahead of Sunday’s showdown with former Thunder coach Steve McCormack and his new-look Swinton Lions squad.

Current Gateshead coach Richard Pell said: “We need to get better in what we’re doing, because Swinton are going to be really well drilled. They’re one of the leading teams in Co-operative Championship One.”

However, Pell hopes home advantage can sway things in his side’s favour. He said: “It’s always a tough journey for teams to come up here.

“Sometimes it’s hard to stay focused on what you’re doing, and hopefully we can capitalise on that and start well. If we can take our poor starts out of our game, we’ll be a bit more confident and composed.”

Dana Wilson could return for Swinton after recovering from last month’s ankle operation.

Lions coach McCormack said: “We’re still a way off from where we want to be, but we’re showing some good signs. We’ve got a few things to work on.

“I’m quite happy with our performance levels at the moment, although we know they’ll need to improve over the coming weeks.”

Gateshead were beaten 60-6 by Batley last week, but McCormack said: “I prefer to look at their performance against Sheffield. I’ve watched that DVD and they were excellent. You never write off the people of Gateshead.”

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