BATLEY Bulldogs will bid to kick-start a hectic spell in the Kingstone Press Championship with victory over Rochdale Hornets on Sunday.
The Bulldogs must bounce back from last week’s defeat at unbeaten leaders Hull KR if they are to keep pressure on the top four sides in the Championship.
Batley lie sixth but are just two points behind fourth-placed London Broncos and coach Matt Diskin admits his side are very much in the mix.
Diskin said: “The league looks very open this season as last weekend showed.
“There were some shock results and that is why you are seeing a level of inconsistency.
“We are already amongst it, in what is a very open competition.
“The ambition for the club is to year on year be challenging for the top four and I am confident we can do that.”
Diskin is wary of the threat Rochdale pose to his team, despite the Hornets slipping to a 52-14 defeat at home to Toulouse last Sunday.
The Bulldogs coaching staff are also mindful about getting some much needed game time to certain players ahead of the busy Easter period.
Diskin added: “Rochdale started well but they are coming here on the back of a loss and will be a very dangerous side if we don’t apply ourselves properly.
“I am wary that people need some game time as we don’t want them going into Easter cold and playing two games in three days is tough for anybody.”
Centre Danny Cowling is facing a spell on the sidelines after suffering a rib cartilage injury, while Cain Southenwood is still some way off after suffering broken ribs.
Joel Farrell has been given the all clear by specialists after missing the trip to Hull KR with a knee injury.
Farrell may be given a further rest this Sunday but could be in line to return against his former club when Batley make the trip to neighbours Dewsbury Rams on Good Friday.
Batley then face a tasty clash against top four rivals London Broncos on Easter Monday.