Preview: Gateshead v Workington

Stephen Welton (dead leg) and Rhys Clarke (suspected broken hand) are Chris Hood’s major concerns ahead of Thunder’s Northern Rail Cup clash with Workington.

The pair both picked up injuries during Gateshead’s midweek defeat at Widnes, but Hood insists the experience was a positive one for his squad.

He said: “There were lots of areas of encouragement for us. Our second half performance was very good and I think Widnes are a better side than they were last year.

“It was a great learning curve for our lads and some of the new players learnt a very valuable lesson about controlling the ruck.”

Hood added: “Workington have got a relatively fresh squad. They’ve got some talented players who always fight hard for each other and the club. They’re a proud team and they’ll be raring to go.”

Town travel without Joe McKenna, who has been ruled out for the next two months due to work commitments, but Lee Dutton and Liam Finch are both available.

Workington coach Gary Charlton said: “We’re looking for competitive games now. You can have as many friendly games as you want but this is what we need at the moment.

“In terms of this weekend, we’ve got to worry about what we bring to the table. We’ve got to look after our own game and whatever happens, happens.”

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