HALIFAX boss Karl Harrison has put his side on red alert ahead of tonight’s Co-operative Championship derby against newly-promoted Keighley.
Harrison, whose side sit top of the ladder with three wins from three, labelled Jason Demetriou’s side – which is likely to include a clutch of players with extensive Super League experience - as “a very dangerous team”.
And the former Great Britain forward, who watched his new-look side seemingly come of age with a 50-18 thrashing the 2011 Grand Finalists Sheffield last week, is wary of the potential for a dip in form after such a dominant performance at Bramall Lane.
“Keighley are a very dangerous team and I feel this is a very dangerous game for us,” said Harrison.
“They’ve won at Batley this year, they smashed Hunslet last weekend and you look at the players they have and you expect them to perform at a very high level.
“From our point of view, it’s absolutely the case that any team coming off a great result like we had at Sheffield can lose focus a little bit.
“We’ve spoken about that this week and I think the competition within the squad at the moment should stop that being an issue.
“You can see the players are buying into what we are trying to build here, and I think there’s been a definite change in the culture of the place compared to when we started back in the autumn. I think if we can go out there tonight, put in a strong performance and get the win, it will reinforce that belief in what we are doing.
“It’s an important night for us.”
Harrison has named a 19-man squad, with young forward Joe Chandler and winger Paul White added to the 17 who were on duty in South Yorkshire last time out.
But he admits any changes are likely to be minimal.
“I cannot see many, if any,” said Harrison.
“I just think the boys who played last week did enough to have another crack at it.
“It’s tough for the lads that aren’t playing; the Barlows, Bowmans and Worrincys.
“Patience is the key for them, they just need to do everything they can to force my hand because there will be chances for them.
“We will get injuries, and no one plays well every single week.
“The bottom line is that if someone is performing exceptionally well, they’ll be in the team.”
Match preview - page 33
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