Pell searches for improvement

Wayne Green could return for Gateshead Thunder as coach Richard Pell searches for a way to improve his side’s performances in 2011.

Thunder have won just one game – against amateurs Milford in the Challenge Cup – while losing five others.

And Pell was forced to endure another miserable Sunday last week when Thunder lost 66-12 at Oldham.

Pell said: “It was just the same old record. Until we start controlling ball better and completing our sets, we’re always going to struggle against any side. 

“We’re almost inviting teams to beat us, and at professional level teams will take those chances.”

He added: “Hopefully it helps us being at home this week. We want to play well for our own fans.

“We’re not looking at other people and how they play. We need to get our own house in order.”

Keighley Cougars‘ Luke Helliwell is facing up to three weeks out after damaging ligaments just above his knee, while Cougars coach Jason Demetriou faces a late fitness test on a quad problem.

Cougars beat London 66-6 last week, but Demetriou is refusing to get carried away.

He said: “We’ve still got another 19 games left and there’s a long way to go.

“If we keep performing to our best then we’ll have a good season. I’m confident because of the players we’ve got in the changing room, but it’s important that the players keep sticking to the processes and preparing properly each week.”

He added: “There’s a really special feeling about the place at the moment.

“I just want us to start this game against Gateshead how we started last week against London.”

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