NEW BOSS Neil Kelly says his first task in charge of Dewsbury Rams is to rebuild shattered confidence.
Kelly begins his second spell in charge of Rams – 21 years after he was first appointed and 16 years on from his departure – with a home derby against Batley Bulldogs today (1pm).
Rams have lost their nine Kingstone Press Championship fixtures so far, but are only two points adrift of safety in the battle against relegation to League One.
“I’ve seen the players train once this week and they look like every other squad training – they are preparing to win a game,” Kelly said.
“They look brilliant in training and there’s no reason why we can’t transfer that into a game.
“It is totally different in a game when you’ve got a team opposite who are trying to do to you what you want to do to them, but it’s about have you got the confidence in your own ability to keep doing what you’re doing well and go on and get a win?
“The players have got themselves into a situation where there’s a confidence issue. I am sure if they overcome that and get a win we can build on that.”
Kelly previously coached Rams from 1996-2001, winning the Northern Ford Premiership Grand Final in 2000. He repeated the feat the following season with Widnes, is a former Wales coach and has recently worked in rugby union, with Namibia and Romania.
Bulldogs boss Matt Diskin reckons Kelly’s appointment has made his side’s job today that bit tougher.
“They have got a new coach on board and their players have to prove their worth,” he said.
“They’ve not started the season well and the players have their backs to the wall and are fighting for their jobs.
“That makes them more of a dangerous prospect for us than at any other point in the season.”
But Diskin is confident if his side get their own act together they can get the job done.
He added: “We’ve not hit anything like our straps yet. With the ball we are causing teams all kinds of problems, but defensively we are way off.
“We are making too many errors with the ball and too much ill-discipline without it.
“We are giving teams too much field position, but once we shore up those areas we will be a tough team to break down.”