Coach Gary Thornton confident Hunslet will get back into League 1 mix as full-back Jimmy Watson nears playing comeback

Hunslet coach Gary Thornton. Picture by Tony Johnstone.Hunslet coach Gary Thornton. Picture by Tony Johnstone.
Hunslet coach Gary Thornton. Picture by Tony Johnstone.
Coach Gary Thornton has called for calm and insisted Hunslet will recover from a disappointing start in Betfred League One.

Last Sunday’s 40-0 defeat at Keighley Cougars - who scored all their points in the second half - was Hunslet’s third loss in four games and they are second from bottom in the table.

Injuries and a disrupted pre-season have taken their toll, but Thornton stressed: “It’s important we stay calm.”

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He pledged: “We’ll certainly ride this particular storm - we’ve shown we are more than capable of that by being level with other promotion-chasing sides until the closing stages of games.

“Once we’ve achieved full fitness we’ll be on a level playing field with our rivals, who are taking points off each other anyway.

“The fact this is such a competitive division means we can quickly force our way back into the mix.”

Thornton believes the Parksidersa will “reach full match fitness as we play more games”.

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He added: “The loan men we are bringing in have had little rugby of late and are naturally struggling in the closing stages of games, in addition to having to operate in a new environment. Our entire right side at Keighley was made up of loan players.”

Full-back Jimmy Watson is in contention to make his first appearance of the season in Sunday’s home game against Rochdale Hornets, after recovering from a knee injury.

Centre Will Cooke, who was hurt in a pre-season clash with Workington, could return in around two weeks’ time and Thornton revealed: “Will actually broke his leg.

“It’s a hairline fracture, which isn’t good, but is potentially better than ligament damage, which is what was originally diagnosed.”

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