BATLEY BULLDOGS will improve as the First Utility Qualifiers go on, reckons coach John Kear.
Bulldogs, who finished third in the Kingstone Press Championship table, were beaten 58-18 at Hull KR in their opening game.
They visit London Broncos on Saturday, and Kear said: “I have told the players they will be better as individuals and as a team when we come to the last game of the Super-8s than they are now.
“Hull KR were excellent in their attitude and application and they were fast and skilful.
“The quality of their play took some of our players by surprise, but they know now that’s the intensity and quality they have to aspire to play at for the next six games.”
Kear admitted Super League Rovers were too good, but two injuries did not help Batley’s cause.
“Pat Walker suffered a groin strain early in the first half,” Kear said.
“He tried to play on, but missed a couple of tackles that led to tries and we had to take him off.”
Shaun Ainscough damaged a knee and both players are in doubt for this weekend, but Cain Southernwood and Alex Brown are on standby to step in.
Kear also confirmed captain Keegan Hirst, who was dropped from the side two days ago over a disciplinary issue, will come back into the squad.