Barrow Raiders head coach Paul Crarey is still feeling bullish about his side’s survival chances as they gear up for their relegation ‘four-pointer’ against Rochdale Hornets on Sunday.

Going into the crunch game at Craven Park, the Raiders have lost their last ten games in the Betfair Championship, with only the Hornets buffering them from the foot of the table.

For the second season running, their squad has been decimated with injuries, with Crarey often having to either pitch players out of position or have them (voluntarily) play through the pain barrier.

However, the return of captain Martin Aspinwall, Jordan Walne and Jarrad Stack led to an improved performance in the 30-18 loss against Sheffield Eagles, which gave them a base to build on against Rochdale.

Crarey said: “With the inconsistency we’ve had with selection this year because of injuries, we’ve had a mountain to climb.

“We’re still in the fight – if we win at the weekend it puts us a point behind Swinton and possibly two points behind Dewsbury and we’ve got to play them as well, so we’re still in it.

“We’ve had a horrendous two years of injuries, but we’re still fighting as a group. We keep everything social media away from the boys and we just focus as a group.

“We’ve got a great healthy bunch of lads and it’s a good environment still to be in, even though there’s probably pressure from all over the place.

“We’ve got to look back to where we were last year, when we had £7.50 in the bank and nearly no team, and we’re still competing in the Championship, which is a very, very tough division.”

Lewis Charnock couldn’t train on Tuesday due to a swollen knee, while Walne (knee) and Josh Johnson (ankle) also had to sit things out and Jono Smith was limited to bike work.

All this means Barrow aren’t out of the woods yet, injury-wise, which means the players that are available will have to continue to go above and beyond when out on the pitch and fighting against the drop to League One.

Crarey said: “Jarrad Stack has been outstanding for us – he juggles his work, as does Glenn Riley, who came to Blackpool straight off a nightshift last week.

“You’ve got to take your hat off for these fellas who do that. They don’t get paid a lot of money and it’s a passion and a hobby, really, rather than life or death.

“Some fans think it’s life and death, but it isn’t. It’s a game and there are other things in life that are more important than rugby league, but we’re in it for the long haul, we’re in it until the end of the year, wherever it takes us.”