This article was first published in League Express. Read articles like this by purchasing the paper in stores every Monday or online at https://pocketmags.com/league-express-magazine/
Dewsbury Rams coach Glenn Morrison is hoping to break his Boxing Day duck against Batley this year, although he insists the result isn’t the most important thing.
Morrison has never coached a winning side in the festive pre-season game between the clubs, despite getting the better of the Bulldogs on several occasions in the league during his tenure.
He expects to give all his new signings, apart from perhaps Jode Sheriffe, a run this year, depending on whether the recent arrival is ready to play in time.
And Morrison says that while a victory would be welcome, the challenges that lie further down the road have to take precedence.
Morrison said: “The result definitely matters for the fans – it’s a local derby and they want to celebrate something over Christmas.
“As coaches, you probably want to see everyone come through injury free and the boys start to put together the things you’ve been working on in training.
“You want to go there and win, but the other three times we meet next year there will be two points on the line.
“Up until last year we’d always finished above them under me and we beat them home and away the year before.
“Boxing Day and the league matches are two very different things.”
Morrison believes there will be more focus on the Bulldogs’ in next week’s meeting.
He said: “All the pressure is on Disko (Matt Diskin) and them.
“They finished top four last year, have a new coach coming in and a bigger budget to work with, so there will be some expectation on them.
“Hopefully we can go under the radar a bit.”
Morrison will be without Scott Hale and Luke Adamson for the match, and both sides are expected to field 20 players following discussions last week.
Morrison added: “We’ll look to give pretty much everybody else a run. We’ve got a squad of 23 players.
“Jode Sheriffe has only just come in, so we’ll see if we can get him up to speed in time.”