Paul Cooke "Players are under no illusions"

Paul Cooke "Players are under no illusions"

14th March 2014

“I’m really pleased with the result last week against Batley. They made last years grand final and have a strong squad so for us to come out on top last week was really pleasing and I thought it was a really good away performance to match the one in the first week of the season against Workington.

"We’ve had a look through the videos and looked at our stats and they are really pleasing, especially in terms of our key performance indicators. The numbers are really impressive and that’s why we’re winning games but there are still little things that we are disappointed with as a group hence why we’re still working hard and training hard.

"I think we are defending okay and it was difficult at Batley with the pitch being on a hill but we defended strongly for large parts of the first half. Only once did we let them break through which led to the first try, so overall I’m really pleased but there are still aspects of our game that we are working hard to improve.

"This weekend is a long trip down to Aldershot. We’re expecting a strong set of lads to come up against us. They’re going to be very fit. We will pick a team to win the game and we want to make sure we are in the next round of the cup. Standards will not be allowed to slip from me or the staff so what’s most important for us will be the performance on Sunday. No one will be thinking about the next week or two, so the main focus for me and the rest of the players will be to make the next round of the cup.

"We do need to play the players who haven’t had much game time up until now, although the majority of the squad has had some game time. The players who are taking the field on Sunday are under no illusions of what we expect and what I expect as a coach and substandard performance will not be accepted.  

"Mark Castle will probably miss out on the game just as a precaution and Liam Whelam is struggling with a thumb injury so we do have that chance to bring a couple of others in and leave the boys who have taken knocks out. However, as I’ve said, the players coming in are well aware of the standards that they have to reach and are well aware that their performance will not be accepted if it’s a poor one.”

The Dons face the British Army in the first round of the Challenge Cup. Supporters who are booked on the supporters coach are reminded that it departs from Keepmoat Stadium at 9.30am Sunday morning.

Paul Cooke "Players are under no illusions"