IT HAS been a “brutal” week in training for Batley Bulldogs as they battle to regain their pride.
Bulldogs created a huge shock by finishing third in the Kingstone Press Championship to claim a place in the Qualifiers, but their opening two middle-eights fixtures saw them hammered 58-18 at Hull KR and 76-16 away to London Broncos.
They begin their home campaign tomorrow against First Utility Super League’s bottom club Huddersfield Giants (3pm) and Kear said the initial priority is winning back some self-esteem.
“We have let ourselves down the last two weeks,” Kear said.
“We are aware of that and it has been a pretty brutal week in terms of meetings and the practice field.
“I am expecting a response from the players and I will be very disappointed if we don’t get one.”
Kear added: “Some people say you should draw a line in the sand [after a result like last week’s], but I don’t think that’s the case.
“You have got to be honest enough to face it front on, look at the possible reasons why and try to ensure nothing like that ever happens again.”
Batley’s players have donated part of their match fees from last week towards providing transport to the away game at Leigh for fans who made the trip to London.
“That indicates the players are pretty disappointed with what they turned out last week,” Kear said.
“Very much like myself they don’t like parting with money, but they realise there were people who have made a long journey and given a day of their leisure time up at considerable expense and what we served up was not good enough.”
Giants broke their Qualifiers duck with a big win over Featherstone Rovers last week, but Kear said Batley’s main focus has been on themselves.
“It is pretty apparent [new coach] Rick Stone has stripped it down to basics,” Kear observed. “They ran hard and tackled hard and executed the basics of rugby league very well against Featherstone. We are expecting them to do similar on Sunday, but it is our response I am interested in rather than what Huddersfield will throw at us.”
Shaun Ainscough has again been ruled out through injury, but Kear is hopeful Patch Walker could feature after missing last week’s game.