Newly-appointed Workington Town coach Phil Veivers has called for his players to build on the high standards they set for his first game in charge when they face community club Normanton Knights in a Tetley’s Challenge Cup third round tie on Saturday. The Cumbrians defeated Barrow Raiders 8-6 last Sunday and Veivers is determined to ensure there is no complacency against their Kingstone Press Cider National Conference League Division One opponents in a tie that will be played at the Big Fellas Stadium, Featherstone (2.00pm).
“It is important that we play to the standards we set at the weekend,” said Veivers. “The Tetley’s Challenge Cup is a special competition but at the end of day we have to treat Saturday’s match as just another game of Rugby League. Complacency can be an issue in these fixtures and that is something I have to emphasise during the week. We have to get a result on Saturday first, but assuming we do we’d like to get a bigger side at home where we can get a big crowd in, raise some funds and potentially cause an upset.”
Veivers got a useful insight into his new team from the trip to Barrow and accepts he still has much to learn about the squad he has inherited. “I’ve only had about an hour and half of training and then the game on Sunday,” he said. “So at the moment we are still assessing what we’ve got, the quality of the playing staff, what systems we can use, the changes that need to be made, everything really. “I think it will probably take a few weeks to get fully up to speed with the squad. I need to learn how they play and what works well for them. We have the Wigan boys who are here on dual registration. There is also a lot of players already here within Workington who I don’t have a lot of knowledge of, and there’s some I don’t have any knowledge of. The guys had a run out at the weekend and there are a couple I’ve seen tapes of so I am starting to see what they have to offer but there’s a few more I need to see, but hopefully it won’t be too long before I know my best team.
It is still early days for the former Salford coach, but Town captain Jarrad Stack is looking forward to seeing what he can bring to the team. “He is a very good coach,” said Stack. “He’s got a good pedigree behind him and I am sure he will want to implement lots of new plans and drills to help us all develop as players.”
Stack does not foresee complacency being an issue, despite the gulf in class between the two sides and is hoping a Tetley’s Challenge Cup run can aid their league campaign. “I don’t expect complacency to be a problem,” he said. “We know that they will be playing us hoping to turn a Championship side over but with the coach that we’ve just got I can’t see it affecting us. “He will be on us the whole game and if anyone is showing signs of easing up he will be pulling us off or getting messages onto the field about it.
“The minimum requirement is to progress to the further stages, at least the fourth or fifth round, but I think the main thing we are looking to get from the tournament is consistency in our game. Hopefully some good results in the Tetley’s Challenge Cup will help raise the standard of our league form.”
The Tetley’s Challenge Cup third round tie, Normanton Knights v Workington Town will be played at Big Fellas Stadium, Featherstone, on Saturday March 15, kick off 2.00pm.