Tough first assignment for Harrison

Caretaker Batley coach Karl Harrison faces the toughest of first assignments as he takes his new side to face Widnes tonight.

Harrison was appointed earlier this week on a temporary basis after Gary Thornton resigned following Monday’s heavy defeat to Toulouse.

He said: “I’ve come to steady the ship a bit.

“It is just for a month from my point of view, but obviously you never say never. I will just take it week to week. I have always been up for a battle and the four games I have got are Widnes away, Barrow away next Friday, Leigh at home and then Salford, so it is a tough baptism.

“I met the guys for the first time on Wednesday night and I opened their eyes a bit.

“They trained extremely well. I don’t know a great deal of them, so I will be relying quite heavily on Joe Berry, who was Gary’s assistant and has been there man and boy.”

Harrison’s brother Paul is the general manager at Batley, and they will look to kick-start their season at the Stobart Stadium tonight against a Widnes side who have yet to hit anywhere near top form this season.

Harrison added: “We trained on Wednesday night and I left with quite a bit of buzz in my head. They took a few things on board.

“You never know. It might be new coach syndrome and I don’t think Widnes have been that hot to be honest.

“We will go there with expectations to put a performance in, anyway.”

As well as the defeat to Toulouse, Batley were thrashed 72-0 by Halifax last weekend, while Widnes fell to a disappointing 10-8 home defeat against Leigh before scraping a 24-18 win away at Doncaster on Monday.

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