Oldham skipper Gareth Owen has revealed the Championship side are fully focused on their Challenge Cup tie against Barrow Raiders.

The two were drawn against each other in the first round of the competition and will go head-to-head at the Vestacare Stadium on March 20.

Having played numerous pre-season friendlies at Craven Park, Owen is looking forward to facing Paul Crarey’s side on home turf next month.

Speaking to Oldham’s website, he said: “Barrow will be determined to put down a marker by beating Championship opposition. They are a good side. We’ve got to make home advantage count and it will be nice to get them down here for a change so early in the season.

“For the last umpteen years we’ve gone up there (Craven Park) for a pre-season friendly in January, nearly always playing in sub-zero temperatures or icy rain and on a soft pitch clinging mud in places.

“It will be good to get them down here this time, albeit a couple of months later than usual in an important cup tie, rather than a warm-up match.

“We obviously want to get as far as we can in the Challenge Cup, but first and foremost we’ve got to get on the first rung of the ladder and that means concentrating all our efforts right now on Barrow.”

Whoever progresses from the tie will face the winner of Swinton Lions and Newcastle Thunder in the second round.

Next month’s fixture will be both clubs’ first game since the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic last March.