Dewsbury Rams head coach Lee Greenwood has had his say ahead of this weekend’s game against the Bradford Bulls at the Tetley’s Stadium.
On the game he said: “It will be hard on Sunday, it will be a similar opposition to our last two home games against Featherstone and Halifax. Bradford are do or die at the minute where they need to win every game and hope teams above don’t pick any points up. They are almost in cup final mode themselves, it is unlikely I would say that they will make the playoffs even if they win every game.
“Whether it’d be a disappointing season for them not to make the playoffs you’d need to ask them but they’ll want to finish on a high that’s for sure by winning all their remaining games. They’ll know they will be in for a tough game when they come here, they won’t be taking us lightly at all. We have given them two good games to be fair one in pre-season and one at their place, two narrow defeats to us which has been the story of our season.
“I am running out of weeks to say it now, but we know if we are competitive and have good attitude then we will win our fair share of games. However I don’t think that is going to be happen now. It’d be nice to win a couple of games out of our last three fixtures.
“For where we are as a club, we are realistic enough to know that in a lot of games we are underdogs that we will play in. Sunday is no different, Bradford’s spending power, fan base and just overall size of club is a lot bigger than ours. I am not saying anything out of turn there, we will be underdogs going into the game, but as we have seen in a few of the matches this season, if we start well and play like we can, we are difficult to beat on our day.
“What we have seen over the last four or five week’s is what I have wanted over the whole season. I know it’s frustrating to watch but as I said right at the beginning if we can be difficult to beat in my first season, defensively tough and a hard working outfit then I would have thought we would have won our fair share. As it turns out that all these tight games we are probably not going to get 50/50 out of them.
“That is what I wanted our full season to be, we have done five or six of them now and hopefully we can do that in the final three games. If we look back over the whole season, there will be a minority of games that we haven’t performed well in. However for the majority of them we have competed in and come close in. It has been a strange season overall with all the comings and goings behind the scenes, but it would be great to finish the season off on a high.
“I’ve slept comfortably over the last week and i’m not feeling any pressure going into this weekend’s game, and I doubt the players are either. I can’t speak for how the Bradford guys are feeling but I know publicly they are saying every week is a cup final for them. They need Featherstone or York to lose every game which is unlikely, now whilst their is a mathematical chance of you making the playoffs you’ll always say those types of things. Like us, we aren’t yet safe, we need a point to secure it ourselves or Barrow to lose every game, although I want to do it on our terms. I’m hoping by 4.30pm it will be done on Sunday and we’ll be safe.
“The right attitude and to be competitive has to come as standard, I have always known Dewsbury sides to be really, really difficult to beat at home but not as difficult to beat away. I want to make our stadium a fortress which it hasn’t been this season, but that doesn’t end their, I want us to be tough to beat wherever we play.”
On his future view of the club, Greenwood commented: “I am confident that with a few changes their is a lot of potential in this club and for players to come here and progress. I still believe that all the tools are here for aspiring players to succeed here and move on to better things. It was never going to be a quick fix, or a quick turn around, it was never going to happen. It was all about putting building blocks and foundations down this year.
“I want fans to come here and think when we are playing a big team that we can beat them, I want that to become the norm for this club. The next step is then turning those competitive games into wins, and the first steps are to be in the arm wrestle more, and to start well, I think overall we have done that across the season, and then it is taking that next step.”
Greenwood knows his opponent in the dug out really well in the shape of John Kear, the current Bulls boss gave Greenwood his competitive debut for Sheffield Eagles back in 1998.
Greenwood explained about his past and relationship with Kear: “John gave me my Super League debut at Sheffield, I signed for Sheffield when I was 17 from Siddal. It was in the Wembley year too in 1998, although I wasn’t in the first team back then I was part of the squad and so we went down there and had a good time. It was good to be at the club at that time, and then I made my debut for the team the year after.
“Then after that, the merger with Huddersfield happened and everyone disappeared and went their own way. I have a lot to thank John for, him giving me my debut and I have spoke to him quite a bit since getting the job here.
“I like John a lot and he has his own challenges at Bradford, the expectation there is higher than what it is here. The size of their club and the budgets he gets mean that expectation is put on you. I don’t know whether finishing in the playoffs is success or not for Bradford.
“This year I have coached against the likes of Brian McDermott and John Kear, which is really good, however every coach you go up against is different and there are coaches at each end of the spectrum. Young, old, players who have just come out of the game at different levels, I have respect for them all and like players I don’t treat one different from another, I treat them all the same.”
Finally Greenwood gave us an update on the injury front and says checks will happen with both Robbie Ward and Dom Speakman.
He said: “We didn’t pick up any new ones from the weekend, with those lads who didn’t play i’m not sure they will be fit, we’ll have to check on them. I am hoping Robbie Ward might have a chance but we’ll have to be careful with him as he hasn’t played for a bit, I’m hoping Dom Speakman will be available too but again we’ll have to check on him.”