Rovers coach demanding ‘attitude shift’

Rovers coach Jon Sharp: "We've got to have a change in mentality."
Rovers coach Jon Sharp: "We've got to have a change in mentality."

Coach Jon Sharp is looking for a big improvement in attitude from Featherstone’s players in Sunday’s home Championship game against Swinton.

Sharp was bitterly disappointed with his side’s 37-0 defeat against Halifax at the Summer Bash but he also believes it would be wrong to overreact to a poor performance after Rovers had won their previous three matches.

“It’s very much about getting this bad taste out of our mouths. We are not happy about what we dished up at Blackpool,” said Sharp.

“We’ve got to improve and we’ve got to have a change in mentality.

“If we turn up this Sunday like we did against Halifax, we are in trouble. There has to be an attitude shift.

“There has to be a change in attitude from the players because what they served up at the weekend just wasn’t good enough.

“Individuals need to correct some of the things that were wrong last weekend and I think there are some players under pressure this week to perform.”

“Swinton are a good footballing team but this week it’s very much about us and putting together an 80 minute performance.

“Also, I don’t think we should throw the baby out with the bath water and try to re-write the coaching manual.

“ Whether we want to deem it as a blip or a just a bad day at the office, I think it’s really important that we don’t overreact. It was a poor performance and as a group we are not happy at all with what happened but by the same token we are determined to improve.”

Despite losing to Halifax for the second time this season, Rovers remain firmly in contention for the top-four.

They are in fifth, level on points with Bradford and just one behind Batley Bulldogs.

“There’s still an opportunity - it’s wide open,” added Sharp who was as shocked as anyone with the performance at Blackpool.

“There were no signs there whatsoever of that display coming,” he said.

“With the last three wins and how we’ve trained, there was no indication whatsoever that the players were going to dish that up.

“We never looked like winning the game after the first five minutes. We just didn’t handle going behind well.

“I thought the players panicked when we went 12-0 down. We lost the forward battle and allowed Halifax to play too quickly. We got dominated in the ruck area in both attack and defence. Our completion rate was around 45 per cent and you’d be lucky to win any game with that. We made far too many errors.”