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Toulouse Olympique v Batley Bulldogs: No pressure on Bulldogs as they head to France

Batley Bulldogs' head coach Matt Diskin.
Batley Bulldogs' head coach Matt Diskin.
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TODAY’S OPPONENTS are appropriate for Batley Bulldogs as boss Matt Diskin says his men have “nothing to lose”.

Batley are away to promotion-chasing Toulouse Olympique (2pm) and Diskin admits the odds are stacked against them. They set off from Mount Pleasant at 4am yesterday and will field a side hit by injuries and the loss of players who could not travel due to work commitments.

We are under no pressure, we have nothing to lose. It’s tough for part-time players, but we will go and try play some football, enjoy the experience and you never know.

Matt Diskin

“We’re under no illusions,” said Diskin. “If we had our strongest 17 available we’d still be underdogs.

“They are a very talented team with some fantastic football in the team so it will be very tough.

“We’ve got injuries – Patch Walker is back on the list – and we’re without Reiss Butterworth because of a one-game ban he picked up at Bradford.

“We’ve got players who can’t get off work so we’re down to 18 men and that includes some players who have bumps and bruises and might be on the bench just to make up the numbers.”

Thanks to a stirring display, however, Batley beat Toulouse 46-22 two months ago and Diskin recalled: “That was probably our best performance of the year.

“We are under no pressure, we have nothing to lose.

“It’s tough for part-time players, but we will go and try play some football, enjoy the experience and you never know.”