12:00pm Monday 16th July 2012
By Steve Carroll
AN EXASPERATED Mick Ramsden has called on York City Knights to make sure Chris Thorman’s playing career ends on a high.
The assistant-coach cut a dejected figure after his side were crushed 46-24 at Keighley Cougars and he condemned a lack of “desperation” in defence for the team shipping nine tries in an error strewn performance.
With the Huntington Stadium outfit having won just once in the Co-operative Championship this season, and with just a handful of games remaining before player-coach Chris Thorman leaves to become assistant-coach at Super League Huddersfield, Ramsden has urged the squad to raise their performances and see the boss off in style.
“We’ve talked in the changing room about what we are playing for here,” Ramsden said.
“The performance was below par and that’s disappointing. But players have things to play for. There are contracts and we hope they would want to play for the club and finish on a strong note.
“The other big thing is that it is Chris Thorman’s last few games with us.
“We want him to go out on a high. It could be his last four or five games of playing rugby league. They should find positive things to make them want to play well.”
Having stressed the need to be strong defensively in the run-up to the Keighley clash, Ramsden was hugely frustrated at the individual and collective mistakes that allowed the Cougars to profit repeatedly – particularly after a good opening quarter had given York hope of victory.
He added: “In the first 20 minutes I thought we were well in the game but we just weren’t able to carry it on. Errors were our downfall – defensive errors, one-on-ones and positionally. There just wasn’t enough desperation in our defensive line.
“It’s very annoying. It’s what we are working on in training – constantly – on the left and right defensive structures and players working for each other. Then it comes to the game and you miss your one-on-ones and we just seem to get smashed to bits at times.
“We had it against Dewsbury and started to get that desperation and it has not shown up again unfortunately. It’s disappointing.”
With incoming head-coach Gary Thornton watching the display in the Cougar Park stands, Ramsden said: “I don’t know if they (players) knew he was here. But you would expect them to perform as well as they can. Some of them are playing for contracts, either here or elsewhere, and, for me, they should be thinking about that.
“Our season has gone now but there is always something to play for and, as a professional player, you should be able to raise your game and find a reason to play as well as you can.”
Captain James Ford left the ground on crutches having been forced off with an ankle injury towards the end of the first half and Ramsden said swelling around the knock had left club chiefs unsure, as yet, of its seriousness.
“He’s turned his ankle,” he explained. “He rolled it and we will have to look at it. I am not sure how bad it is but he was in a lot of pain. Once the swelling has gone down we will decide whether he needs to have a scan.”
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