1895 Cup preview: Mark Moxon has ‘trust’ and ‘belief’ in Batley Bulldogs stars ahead of must-win Featherstone Rovers showdown

Batley Bulldogs’ head coach Mark Moxon has insisted he has ‘trust’ and ‘belief’ in his side ahead of welcoming Featherstone Rovers to the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium on Sunday, February 4 (kick off 2pm) for a crucial 1895 Cup contest.
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The fixture is Batley’s first competitive outing of 2024 following an encouraging pre-season campaign. But last year’s Wembley finalists will have it all to do if they want to go one step better, as only the winners of the seven groups, as well as the best second placed team, progresses further in the new-look competition.

Fev thrashed Hunslet 62-12 in their opening group encounter which has put them in pole position for a quarter final spot.

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And although Moxon is fully aware of Rovers’ threat, he has full belief in his players.

Batley Bulldogs head coach Mark MoxonBatley Bulldogs head coach Mark Moxon
Batley Bulldogs head coach Mark Moxon

He said: “We’re looking forward to getting cracking this Sunday. It is a massive step up. When we pencilled in Wakefield as the last friendly I wanted it to be tough and against the best team in the division but it wasn’t to be due to the side they sent up with them playing Friday night as well.

“I wanted a tough test going into this week, which we didn’t get exactly what we were after but we are fully aware that we need to be better this week. The standard of opposition is going up massively this week.

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“But I said to the lads in the dressing room after the Wakefield game that I trust these boys. They have done it over the last three years and I trust them that when it comes to it they will up their game and it will be a contest for Featherstone this week.”

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Asked if there is a genuine belief within the squad that they can go one step further than last year and win the 1895 Cup, Moxon replied:

“The way things have gone the last two to three years, how can there not be? We have got belief and trust in each other, as a staff and a playing group.

“The players have got belief in each other and that goes a long way. Hopefully that can continue into this season.

“But it is one game at a time for us. Because the concept has changed a little bit this year we know that it is all on this week. We just need to concentrate on this week and if we can get a win this week then we can start to think about what comes next.

“But all our focus at the moment is on Featherstone for Sunday.”