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Jason Demetriou is confident Keighley Cougars will bounce back
Jason Demetriou has challenged Cougars to bounce back from last week’s Co-operative Championship defeat to Leigh Centurions when they head to Swinton Lions on Sunday.
The Cougars player-coach was left bitterly disappointed after the final home match of his two-year reign ended in a 26-0 reverse eight days ago.
But, with three games of the regular season remaining, all away from home, Cougars have the opportunity to head into the play-offs on a high note.
This week’s game at Swinton is followed by trips to Leigh and Featherstone, with the departing Demetriou content to be facing three road trips as his men will be away from home in the play-offs.
The Australian, who will head home at the end of the season to take up a two-year deal as head coach of Queensland Cup side Northern Pride, said: “They’re a very determined bunch but we’re not resting on that.
“We want to go into the play-offs with some confidence, and keep building every week.
“We’ve got a tough finish now; Swinton away, Leigh away and Featherstone away.
“But I like that because we’re going to be away in the play-offs and this is going to give us a chance of playing away from home and get the attitude and professionalism that we need to take into to those travels.”
Cougars thumped lowly Swinton 36-4 at home in May and are firm favourites to record a double over the Manchester club.
“The fact is we should do,” added Demetriou.
“We’ve got a lot more to play for than Swinton and attitude-wise we should be a lot hungrier than they are.
“I think on a wide pitch our shape will cause teams problems.
“I’m looking forward to getting to Leigh and playing on a nice wide pitch, but we’ll focus on Swinton first this weekend.”
Gavin Duffy (sprained ankle) and Craig Moss (groin) are rated as doubtful to face the Lions and former Bradford Bulls star Semi Tadulala looks certain to miss out.
He sustained a hamstring injury against Leigh and looks set to miss the run-in of the regular season, although it is hoped he will return for the play-offs.
Demetriou added: “Semi did his hamstring and will be out for a while for sure, which is disappointing.
“But I’d rather that happened now than a week before the play-offs.”
Last week’s defeat at the hands of Leigh was also prop Michael Korkidas’ last home game before he, like Demetriou, heads home to Australia.
Demetriou added: “It was a disappointing way to go out, but it’s not about us – it’s about the team.