DEWSBURY Rams coach Warren Jowitt remains upbeat that his side can drag themselves out of the Co-operative Championship relegation mire.
Last week’s heartbreaking defeat by York City Knights saw the Rams slip to second-bottom ahead Sunday’s visit of Northern Rail Cup finalists Halifax (3pm).
Four of the Rams final seven league matches are at Tetley’s Stadium. Dewsbury face a crucial trip to bottom side Toulouse on August 6 and the following week sees relegation rivals Hunslet Hawks visit the Rams, so there is still hope they can repeat last year’s feat and produce a great escape.
Coach Jowitt said: “There are plenty of games still to go for us to stay up and, although I don’t agree with the silly idea of getting bonus points for losing, at least we managed to pick one up last week.
“The lads put a lot of effort in against York and this week has been about helping them recover so they are fully fit to face Halifax.”
Jowitt has signed another young dual registration player, prop Matty Nicholson from Leeds Rhinos.
Jowitt saw Nicholson in action when he went to watch Aston Wilson and although he figures in the Rhinos’ future plans, they have allowed Nicholson to join Dewsbury to gain experience.
He was due to figure in last night’s reserve team game at Halifax and if he came through unscathed, Nicholson could make his first team debut on Sunday.
Jowitt is also waiting on the availability of powerhouse prop James Walker whose wife is expecting a baby.
Dewsbury appeared on course for a vital win last Sunday as they led 28-24 going into injury time. Then a mistake by Matt Sarsfield gifted York possession and they snatched victory with a dramatic injury time try.
It was unfortunate for Sarsfield, who had been one of Dewsbury’s best players, especially in the second half but goes to show how the Rams are lacking experience in key situations.
Chairman Mark Sawyer was approached by a group of disgruntled supporters after the game but he understands their feelings may have been running high after the loss.
Mr Sawyer said: “The fans are frustrated but I understand they do care for this club, like everyone here does.
“The run we are on is not because of the lack of effort from Warren and the team because I can assure people that everybody is grafting.”
Mr Sawyer has also revealed he has pumped more of his money into the club recently to help fund repairs to the stadium, while Jowitt has also shown his commitment by helping repair a watering system for the pitch.
Dewsbury need the supporters behind them and with Halifax set to bring a large travelling contingent it is vital Rams fans also turn up in numbers.
The Rams are a point behind Hunslet, who face a tough game at home to Widnes on Sunday, and two behind York as they prepare to meet title-chasing Batley Bulldogs tonight (Friday).