Batley Bulldogs coach Craig Lingard buoyed by strong start but issues warning
BATLEY BULLDOGS are enjoying their eye-catching start to the season, but boss Craig Lingard won’t let his side get ahead of themselves.
Batley have won three of their opening four games and are third in the Betfred Championship ahead of tomorrow’s away clash with Sheffield Eagles.
Their only defeats this year have been at table-topping Featherstone Rovers in the Challenge Cup and league.
Lingard admitted: “We’re very pleased with how things are going, obviously.
“If you’d told me at the start of the season, after four games we’d have won three of them and the only team we’d have been beaten by was Featherstone I would have snapped your hand off.
“It is such a difficult league this one – you can see by the results week by week teams are getting beaten by teams you wouldn’t expect before the season started.
“For us to have beaten teams like Oldham, Widnes and Newcastle, it is massive for us.
“Every game like that is a four-pointer.”
Lingard, though, warned: “We are sat third in the table at the minute, but nobody remembers where you were after four games.
“It is only the final league position that counts.
“We are enjoying the run while it’s going on and we are going to try and maintain it as much as we possibly can and we know we are going to have to work hard to do that.”
The Bulldogs boss admitted: “Every game has its own challenges. Friday will be massively difficult, going over there and trying to get anything out of it.
“As good as it is at the minute, it can turn and in a couple of weeks if you’ve lost a couple of games on the bounce you’re right back down in the middle of the table and potentially looking over your shoulder.”
Eagles have put a spanner in Batley’s works in the past and are on the back of a hard-fought draw at London Broncos.
“They are going to be difficult to play against, dogged and good at all the little stuff,” Lingard predicted. “They are going to fight to the end and not give in. People keep reminding me Sheffield are Batley’s bogey team, but I don’t pay much attention to that because this group’s not played Sheffield together. What’s gone on in previous years is immaterial.”