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Thornton On York City Knights

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<p>Doncaster Rugby League head coach Gary Thornton spoke to the official website ahead of Friday's clash with York City Knights.</p>

<p>The former York head coach comes up against his former side for the first time, he guided the Knights to the League 1 title in 2014, but was controversially relieved of his duties at the end of the season after losing out in the play-offs. </p>

<p>Thornton though insists he is putting rivalries aside and his side need to focus and be at their best.</p>

<p>"It is just another game, in my opinion York will be up there challenging for promotion this season, they have a very good squad.</p>

<p>"It is good to see a number of our old players doing well for them this season, sometimes players just need a new challenge at certain stages in their career and I am pleased for them.</p>

<p>"Like any game at home though which I stated at the start of the season, is that I want us to do well and make the Keepmoat a fortress.</p>

<p>"We want to win in front of our supporters, we don't want to get beat."</p>

<p>Thornton was asked if coming up against former sides effects the game at all.</p>

<p>"I think it does and I think we saw that with Lee Waterman and Matt Carbutt at Hunslet last Friday, they really put in some extra effort to try and beat us," he said.</p>

<p>"In whatever capacity you always want to do well against a former side and I am sure that will be the case for Mike Emmett, Russ Spiers, Danny Nicklas, Brett Waller and Russ Spiers on Friday.</p>

<p>"It is important to look beyond that though, we need to treat it the same as we did with Keighley.</p>

<p>"I'm looking for more of a reaction than anything else from Friday because we are all still hurting and we want to put it right.</p>

<p>"We have Makali Aizue back for the York game and it has been a difficult week, there were 15 players on the treatment table on Monday.</p>

<p>"It has also been difficult with Hull FC having two fixtures over the weekend, but Reece Dean and Harry Tyson Wilson have been made available to us on dual registration so that is pleasing and we have had a bit of a shuffle.</p>

<p>"Sam Doherty, David Foggin-Johnston, Mike Kelly and George Milton are all unavailable, but there is an opportunity there now, Matthew Cook will get his first run out and Matty Welham will come back in after a really good game at Keighley.</p>

<p>"If the players take that opportunity and play well on Friday that will put them in contention for next Sunday against London Skolars and for the rest of the season.</p>

<p>The Dons head coach also wants the Doncaster fans to back the badge on Friday.</p>

<p>He said: "Following last years relegation we really want to give the fans something to cheer about on Friday.</p>

<p>"With that, we have lost a number of traditional rugby teams, but York are one of those teams and it will be like a Championship clash.</p>

<p>"I hope there will be a big crowd, York will travel in numbers and I got on well with a lot of people at York and it will be nice to see some familiar faces.</p>

<p>"I want the Doncaster supporters to get behind us though and to be our 18th man, there should be a great atmosphere which will help the occasion and hopefully we can give the Dons supporters a good day out."</p>

<p><a href="http://www.keepmoatstadium.talent-sport.co.uk/PagesPublic/ProductBrowse/productHome.aspx?Productsubtype=DONR&campaigntracking=TboxhomeDONR"target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>You can purchase tickets for Friday's clash by clicking here!</strong></span></a></p>

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