Time for Keighley Cougars to get ready for the big guns - Demetriou (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Time for Keighley Cougars to get ready for the big guns - Demetriou
Jason Demetriou has braced his side for a “massive month” as Cougars bid to bolster their hopes of winning silverware on two fronts.
Cougars destroyed basement outfit York City Knights 42-18 last Sunday but do not play again until the visit of Co-operative Championship leaders Halifax on Sunday, June 10.
That is swiftly followed by the Northern Rail Cup quarter-final at home to rivals Featherstone before another searching examination in the league as Batley head to Cougar Park.
Demetriou praised his men as they recovered from the shock of falling 18-0 behind to record an emphatic victory at the Huntington Stadium last weekend.
Yet Demetriou warned his players that far sterner tests await.
The player-coach said: “June is a massive month for us and we have some really tough fixtures coming up in Halifax, Featherstone and Batley.
“We can’t be giving away 18-point leads and expect to claw them back against these sorts of teams, so we’ve got to start better.
“We started the season slowly in terms of scoring points but in the last few weeks we’ve started to become a lot more fluent.
“I felt that in the second half against York, we scored some excellent tries, as we did against Swinton in the previous game.
“You can see the confidence growing in the players and they’re starting to attack with a lot more vigour.
“That will hold us in good stead because we’re going to have to score points against the big clubs that we have coming up.
“We’ve got a week off to prepare for Halifax now and make sure we throw everything we’ve got at them.”
Meanwhile, hooker Jamaine Wray is set to have an operation on his knee.
Wray has been out of action since the opening game of the league season and will go under the knife this week or next.
The Jamaican international should be back in action next month, and Demetriou should also have 2011 player of the year Ben Sagar available for selection around the same time.
Demetriou added: “Having Ben and Jamaine back will be like two new signings for the business end of the season.”
Cougars reserves are at home to Halifax tonight (7.30).
There will also be a question-and-answer session featuring players, Demetriou and chairman Gary Fawcett in support of Squadbuilder at Cougar Park next Thursday (8pm).
The bar opens at 7.30pm and a contribution of £2 per adult and £1 per child would be welcomed at the door.
Fans are also being encouraged to play in the touch rugby sessions with Demetriou’s squad at Cougar Park on Tuesday nights from 7.00.
Contact Sam Obst at the club on 01535-606044 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.