Batley Bulldogs assistant coach Danny Maun says the side must be mentally prepared for a tough trip to Barrow Raiders in Sunday’s Betfred Championship clash.
Barrow boast an unbeaten home record, stretching some 32 games in Championship and League One games, and Maun believes they will provide one of the toughest tests of the season.
Maun said: “It’s going to be tough as Barrow have a long unbeaten run at home, as they have already shown against Toronto and Leigh. I think this will be one of our hardest games of the season and the lads will have to be mentally tough.
“We have got to get over last week’s result against Featherstone quickly. The next four games are huge in our season as we play Barrow, then Rochdale twice and the Summer Bash against Dewsbury Rams.”
Batley could have Adam Gledhill back in contention as he recovers from a knee injury, while they could also welcome back Patch Walker, who has missed the last couple of matches with a back complaint.
Joe Chandler has spent the last couple of weeks on dual registration with Hunslet, while Alex Bretherton also played in last week’s defeat to Newcastle Thunder but both could feature for the Bulldogs on Sunday.
James Brown has been in terrific form but he suffered a broken thumb shortly after coming off the bench last week, which has needed an operation to pin the bone and he is set to be out for around six weeks.
Maun believes the Bulldogs did not do themselves justice when they slipped to a 50-12 defeat at a Featherstone side, who were boosted by the inclusion of three Leeds Rhinos players on dual registration, including close season signing Nathaniel Peteru.
Maun added: “We let ourselves down a bit after the Toulouse win. We were only 12-0 down in the first half, having played uphill, and I thought we might go on to nick it but lapses in concentration cost us and you can’t do that against the better teams.
“I do think the game needs to change though because how can teams like Batley compete when they (Featherstone) are allowed to spend their money and then bring in Leeds players, including a Grand Final winner.
“We had a few bumps and bruises and some bruised egos after Sunday but we need to get over that quickly and be ready to show the best version of ourselves at Barrow.”