Rams hooker Dom Speakman has offered his thoughts following Sunday’s disappointing defeat to Rochdale, and ahead of this weekend’s trip to Cumbria to face Barrow Raiders.

Speakman was named man of the match in the loss to the Hornets and has shown good form in recent weeks, despite the Rams’ recent difficulties.

“We were poor on Sunday, there’s no getting away from that,” he said.

“We had a good side out and Rochdale came with a lot of injuries, so we should have put them to bed.

“We played a similar side at the start of the season, at their place, and got the result, but unfortunately on Sunday we missed out.

“The team managed to get itself eight points in front early in the second half and there was definitely a feeling that we could kick on at that point, but we were unable to.”

The Rams have now lost eight consecutive Championship matches, after having made a bright start to season, but Speakman is backing the players and coaching staff to turn things around.

“We know we’re good enough, and we show it in patches, but I think all season we’ve struggled to put 80 minutes together.

“We’ve played well for 20 minutes here or 20 minutes there, but unfortunately against Rochdale we ended up going tit-for-tat with them, and they got the try that mattered.

“There are definitely some similarities to last year, at the start of the season, when we were suffering from a lack of confidence.

“We got a win against Batley, when Neil first came in, and we kicked on from there and never looked back.

“We ended up in a position where we were no longer looking over our shoulders, and it’s the same as we need again.”

Michael Knowles partnered Gareth Moore at half-back on Sunday, while Danny Ansell, Lewis Heckford and Paul Sykes have also featured in the role in recent weeks.

And Speakman admits that the injury-enforced disruptions in this area have made things difficult.

“There has been some disruption to the side and we haven’t had a set half-back combination all season, especially in recent weeks.

“When Sykesy and Gaz are bouncing off each other then it makes things easier, but injuries have prevented that from happening too often.

“Hopefully we can get some bodies back and start seeing a more settled line-up.”

This Sunday, the Rams travel to face Barrow Raiders, and Speakman has urged supporters to keep the faith in the team.

“My message to the supporters is to stick with us. We have a big game against Barrow on Sunday and we really appreciate your backing.

“You’ve stuck by us during some tough times in the last couple of years and we’ll be doing everything we can to get back on track this weekend and reboot our season.”

Supporters wishing to travel to Barrow can book their place on The Amber Ribbon coach by completing the form on this page.

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