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'York City Knights will come good' says Nathan Freer
NATHAN FREER is confident York City Knights can finish the Championship season strongly – once they get that elusive first victory of term.
Since unluckily missing out on progressing to the Northern Rail Cup quarter-finals after three wins from four group games, the Knights have lost all five Championship matches, as well as a Challenge Cup fourth round tie against Sheffield.
It has left them rock bottom of the table with only one losing bonus point to their name.
But prop forward Freer, the reigning The Press Player of the Year and Players’ Player of the Year, reckons a win is just around the corner, with lift-off hopefully ensuing. He also insists he has no regrets about returning to the club from Featherstone.
“If you look at our team on paper, it’s fair to say we should be doing better than we have been,” he said.
“But we’re not far off. It’s that last decision, that last pass, that’s been letting us down. It’s just about being more clinical and finishing plays off.
“We know we’ll come good. If we get that one win, it will snowball.
“We’re all positive. Paul King (fellow prop and former Super League star) said last week if we get that one win, it will lift us from there.”
Freer, 22, and pictured above, had one of his poorest games for the club in Sunday’s 30-16 loss to Batley, but he was determined to make up for it, starting with the televised trip to Swinton a week on Sunday.
There is no game this weekend as it’s Challenge Cup fifth round day.
“I was embarrassed last weekend, I’ll be the first to admit that,” said Freer.
“A few of the lads weren’t pleased with their performance. But there were positives.
“We’ve got a lot of things to work on but we’re not too far away. A couple of big decisions went against us as well. If that try they got before half-time was given as a knock-on, for example, then it’s a different game.”
Freer, who left for Featherstone at the end of last season, turning down an improved deal at York to join the Championship champions, returned to Huntington Stadium a month ago. He does not rue that decision, despite four straight defeats since.
“I’m definitely glad to be back,” said Freer, who combines his rugby with studying sports coaching at Hull University.
Rovers, meanwhile, have hit the national spotlight with a Challenge Cup defeat of Castleford to set up another televised tie at home to Wigan tomorrow night.
But Freer went on: “I’m good friends with a lot of the lads at York and I’d missed that, and, with the travelling to Featherstone (from Hull), it got to me a bit. It feels good to be back and to be playing and enjoying it.
“When I signed at Featherstone I knew I’d have to work hard to get in the team but I was prepared to do that. It (not playing regularly) was not an issue as regards me coming back here. I felt I was progressing but, with the travelling on my own, plus my university work and fitting it all in, I was struggling a bit.”
Freer has now called on supporters to stick by the team.
“It’s frustrating for them but I think if they’re patient and hang in there, we’re going to come good at some point,” he said.
“If we can build on that and get a bit of confidence, I have no doubt we will finish the season strongly.
“Loud support certainly helps. If we’re winning, that helps as well. You love to here the crowd singing and that does give you a boost.”