The odds may be piling up against them, but Barrow Raiders are determined to win their survival battle in the Championship and avoid the drop into League One.

“Ask any Barrow player and he will tell you that we can get out of this situation and stay up. We are all in this together and we will fight to the bitter end,” was the defiant message from head coach Paul Crarey ahead of tomorrow’s visit from promotion-chasing Leigh Centurions.

The togetherness spirit comes at the end of what has been a bad week for the club following the defeat at Dewsbury when the Raiders surrendered a 20-10 lead to the Rams.

The loss of Josh Johnson to Salford and injuries to Jamie Dallimore – who suffered a calf strain in training – Jono Smith and Danny Morrow means that Crarey is again faced with having to do a patch-up job from a depleted squad.

“The loss of Josh has come at a bad time, though we wish him well. He did an excellent job for us while he was here,” said Crarey.

Better news on the injury front, though, will be the return of Declan Hulme which will allow Jarrad Stack to move back into the second row and Liam Paisley will play in his more natural position in the back row as a replacement for the absent Dan Toal.

Glenn Riley is also available to make his return.

“This is a strong division and there are some very good teams. There are times when you have to say you were beaten by a better team but we have taken a couple of big scalps this year in Halifax and Featherstone,” Crarey added.

The Raiders need no reminding that, with just seven games left, time is running out and the doors of the dreaded ‘Last Chance Saloon’ are that not far away.

Despite that, Leigh Centurions – the first of the four remaining home games for Barrow – must be regarded as one of those beatable teams. They slipped to fifth place following the defeat at Featherstone.

Crarey and his team will be encouraged by the narrow defeat in the quarter finals of the 1895 Cup but he is well aware of the dangers posed by the likes of 38-year-old hooker Micky Higham, a veteran of 20 years and more than 520 games with Wigan, St Helens, Warrington and Leigh.

Higham is just one of a number of Leigh players with Super League experience, although regular tormentor Ryan Brierley missed the trip to Featherstone with a damaged fibula.

After tomorrow’s game, Barrow have further home fixtures with York City Knights, Bradford Bulls and what could turn out to be a final day survival of the winners clash with Batley Bulldogs. The away trips are to Sheffield, Swinton and Toronto.

Summing up the run-in, Crarey insisted: “It is still in our own hands. We are just two points behind Dewsbury and three behind Batley and these teams will take points off each other.”

And the Raiders go into tomorrow’s match with a ringing endorsement from new Salford recruit Johnson to encourage them.

He tweeted: “Just want to thank everyone at Barrow Raiders. Really enjoyed my time at the club. What a top set of lads and coaching staff they are. Also thanks to the board for allowing this to happen.”