Crockett praise for Ionians’ adaptability

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Hull Ionians head coach Alex Crockett has praised his players for the way they have adapted to the changes he has made since taking charge in the summer.

Crockett’s Ionians take their undefeated record to Ampthill today, the only other team in National Two North to have started with five wins from five.

“They’ve been racking up a lot of points but we’ll go down there and give it a crack,” said Crockett, the former Newcastle and England Saxons player.

“The boys have taken to the new game plan really well, quicker than I expected.

“We’ve just tweaked a few basic principles within our game and they’ve taken those on board brilliantly.

“I’ve been amazed by how well they’ve adadpted.”

Crockett, 32, is in his first job as a head coach after retiring from playing while at Newcastle in May.

A record of five wins from five, even after the side he inherited were relegated from National One, is a strong return, but Crockett says it owes everything to the players.

“I got lucky really, my first job to come into a team that is already well-established,” he said.

“It’s a talented group of boys and they’ve made my life a lot easier.”

Up in National One, Wharfedale head coach Jon Feeley is challenging his players to be mentally tough as they welcome long-time third-tier rivals Blackheath to Threshfields.

“We weren’t strong enough mentally against Coventry last week and that’s very uncharacteristic of a Wharfedale team,” said Feeley, whose side’s 53-26 loss at Coventry was their third successive defeat.

“After a slight, shall we say, ‘encouragement’ at half-time we improved in the second half but we need to be mentally right every time we set foot on the pitch.”