Coach facing tough calls

Date published: 16 May 2014

SCOTT Naylor admits he will be doing a lot of soul searching before he names his Oldham side for the big game with York City Knights.

The 17 players who put 48 points on Oxford last time out came through unscathed and are ready to go again in Sunday’s clash with second-placed Knights at Whitebank..

Another six players are also in the selection mix, including loan half-back Steve Roper, who came initially for a month and still hasn’t played after two weeks.

Tom Whitehead, Ben Wood, Jason Boults, Mark Hobson and Adam Files were also on the outside looking in when a much-changed side scored eight tries against Tony Benson’s Blues in the Roughyeds’ best attacking display so far.

A guarded Naylor said he had 23 players available and he would have tough decisions to make in naming a side with the best chance of beating the Knights.

“If I decide to make changes they have to be the right decisions for the right reasons, and not merely for the sake of putting somebody in.”

Skipper Lewis Palfrey isn’t going to be discarded after his excellent game a fortnight ago so it would appear that the toughest of his “tough decisions” will be that of Brett Robinson or Roper to partner Palfrey in the key roles at the fulcrum of the attack.

Hunslet and York, the top two, each have 19 points from seven games. Oldham, third, are five points behind with a game in hand.

Naylor dismisses the notion that pressure is on the Roughyeds given that anything other than an Oldham win would see the top two heading off into the distance.

He said: “Obviously, you always want to keep in touch, but there’s a long way to go yet.”