AFTER plunging to the bottom of the table, Ilkley head of rugby Rhys Morgan says his side need to toughen up to make their way up the North Premier table.

The Stacks Field side crashed to a 32-25 defeat against Macclesfield last Saturday, which saw them prop up the rest with three defeats from their opening three games of the season and only a bonus point to show from their efforts.

Ilkley now look for a turn in their fortunes on Saturday when they travel to newly-promoted Blackburn, who are sixth following two wins from their first three games.

Morgan revealed he held an hour-and-a-quarter debrief with his squad at training on Tuesday night as he looks to kickstart his new-look squad's season.

He said: "We have a new team and there is a bit of nativity in the team. New guys have come in and that creates a bit of uncertainty in what we are doing.

"We are learning. We made mistakes at the wrong time against Macclesfield. We should have won it.

"Everybody understands at Ilkley that it is going to be a hard season. We have got a lot of learning to do. We are getting there.

"We need to keep our heads up. I could see the lads' heads drop against Macclesfield.

"We've just got to be more positive when something goes against us.

"We've got to toughen up a bit. We are where we are, it is what it is.

"I'm not happy where we are. We have got a long way to go yet. It's not all doom and gloom."

Morgan added his team face a tough task against one of the promoted team when they travel to Lancashire this weekend.

He said: "Blackburn will be tough. We usually play them in pre-season. They have recruited well. They have a bit of guts out on the wing, they are a tough team to beat.

"They are riding high after being promoted. It's not one to be afraid about losing."