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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

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Raiders boss Holt warns of Scorpion sting

RAIDERS boss Darren Holt has told his players to stay focused and avoid a Scorpion sting in South Wales tomorrow.

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INJURY DOUBT: Raiders loose forward Dan Toal faces a late fitness test on his thumb

Barrow were taking no chances as they travelled to Neath today to prepare for their Championship One match with former coach Dave Clark’s side at the Gnoll (3pm kick-off).

Holt knows the dangers the Scorpions can pose and wants his players to be mentally ready for their longest away trip of the campaign against a team who can upset anybody on their day.

“If we don’t go down there with the right attitude then we could find ourselves coming away with a Scorpion sting,” he said.

“We really have got to guard against that.

“It’s a different preparation for the game and it is just about managing the players, keeping them focused and motivated when you go down to places like this.

“I know myself that it is easy for players to go down to places like this and forget the reason you are going down there in the first place.

“We’re in the middle of the league campaign, this is another game, another chance to pick up three points along the way and it is really just about trying to keep the players’ minds on the game and remembering exactly what we have got to go down there and do, get it done and get back home.”

Holt will have a near-full-strength squad to pick from tomorrow, though there is a doubt over loose forward Dan Toal.

The former Ulverston amateur has been a star of the season so far, but picked up a thumb injury in a domestic accident that could keep him out this weekend.

Hooker Jack Pedley is close to a return following his shoulder problem, with a late fitness test likely to decide whether he is considered for selection.

Holt said: “Dan had an accident at home and he has this thumb problem, which is very, very sore.

“We have tested it and it has been inconclusive, so we will have to have a look at it again and make a late decision.

“It’s something that is pretty innocuous, something he has done at home. But he has bent his thumb back, there is no break or no fracture, anything like that, just soft tissue damage, but obviously when you do that it is very sore. We don’t want to take a risk with him. If he is in the game and goes in for a tackle and makes it worse, there are some tough fixtures coming up and we don’t want him to miss them. We will just assess him and see how he is.”

He added: “Jack Pedley is recovering well from his shoulder, but it just whether or not he is quite ready to come back in. I will speak to the physio team, see what they have to say about it and then make a decision on the back of that.”

Holt has now confirmed the signing of winger Nick Beach, though he will not feature for at least the next few weeks as he picks up his fitness.

The former Barrow man has been training with the club in recent weeks and comes in as a like-for-like replacement for the departed Marc Dixon.

Raiders (from): Ballard, Backhouse, Haney, Larkin, Low, Nixon, Holt, Campbell, Bracek, Dawson, Dandy, Harrison, Gordon, Toal, Butler, L Finch, Pugh, Ostler, Venter, McGoff, Pedley.

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