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Friday, 19 September 2014

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It all Stacks up for Workington against Barrow

WORKINGTON Town have reinforced their lines and head to Barrow tomorrow with boss Gary Charlton seeing the Craven Park showdown as the perfect opportunity to put down an early-season marker.

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ATTACKING PROWESS: Australian powerhouse Jarrad Stack is set to return for Workington at Barrow tomorrow RLPHOTOS.COM

Town have Graeme Mattinson, Kris Coward, Jarrad Stack and Marc Shackley back in contention after they missed last week’s loss to Sheffield.

And Charlton and co-boss Martin Oglanby have bolstered their ranks further by signing three top youngsters on dual-registration from Super League Hull KR.

Winger Nick Johnson, prop James Green and loose-forward Dave Petersen are all available tomorrow and will give added strength to a previously-depleted Town squad.

Chairman Dave Bowden said: “They are on the fringe of the first-team at Hull KR, looking to break in, and will now gain extra experience with us at a higher level of competition than if they had stayed in Hull. We are now getting the sort of numbers required for a long and difficult season, when you take into account the inevitable injuries that will occur.

“The three new players will come in to contention this weekend. We want to have a look at them as soon as we can.”

Town come down the coast on the back of an impressive display against higher-league Sheffield Eagles last week.

They went down 28-14, with two late tries slanting the scoreline, but performed well throughout the 80 minutes – something Charlton knows they need to do again this weekend.

“This is definitely a chance to put down a marker,” said the former Barrow player. “You want to be showing teams that you are a good, solid team.

“We’ve got to go and play well down at Barrow. We know it will be a tough ask, but we are pretty confident that we can come away with the points.”

He added: “Considering we were missing quite a few first-team players, a lot of players really stood up to be counted last week and put themselves in the frame for the matches that are coming up.”

“We were really pleased and it was the 74th minute when there were only two points in it and then they scored a couple of late tries. We probably played a bit of dumb at the back end of the second half, we made a couple of errors and they capitalised on it.”

Barrow and Workington fought out a 28-28 pre-season draw in Furness last month in Mike Whitehead’s testimonial match.

That has given Town a good look at Raiders, though Charlton and Oglanby know many of the squad as they were playing up the coast last season.

Charlton is not reading too much into the last game though and said: “I wouldn’t look too much into the last game. You will see a different game this week – it will be two teams who are committed, a lot of the players know each other through being at either club and I am expecting a tough game. I think it’s one where, if we play well, we can come away with the points.

“We know what their strengths and weaknesses are, so we can combat that in our game plan, but this early in the season we’ve got to get our own game in order and we can’t worry too much about what Barrow are going to throw at us.

“We will just concentrate on doing the little things right in our own game – I think if you do all the little things right, you end up doing the big things right as well and that’s when you win matches.”

Town will be without Millomite Peter Lupton, as he continues to recover from a wrist injury picked up in a car crash, while Marc Bainbridge, Stephen Dawes and Karl Olstrum are all doubts.

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