Paul Sykes hopeful new Dewsbury Rams set-up can invigorate season

IT WOULD be easy for captain Paul Sykes, given his personal circumstances, to concede events at Dewsbury Rams this week are all a little bizarre.

Dewsbury's Paul Sykes.
Dewsbury's Paul Sykes.

The struggling Championship club parted company with head coach Glenn Morrison on Monday, the long-serving Australian who brought Sykes to the club and was also once a team-mate at Bradford Bulls.

However, furthermore, Karl Pryce – who at 30 is five years younger than the club’s stand-off and also played with him at Odsal – has been placed in temporary charge along with fellow assistant Jonathan Schofield. Bottom of the league and still searching for their first win ahead of tomorrow’s visit from Featherstone Rovers, ex-England international Sykes admitted: “It’s always disappointing to see a coach depart but we haven’t been performing as a team.

“Obviously, I’ve known Morro a long time. He spoke to us as a group and addressed us all on Monday so it was not like he had to go out of the back door.

“The chairman did, too, and it’s in the best interests of both that it’s happened.

“Prycey and Schoey are in charge for now and that’s fine. We know where we’re going for this Featherstone game. I was at Bradford, before leaving for London, when Karl was still coming through the Academy so I’ve known him a lot of years. We just need to get that first win and, when it does come, I’m sure more will follow.

“We’ve not been getting results but we’ve not been far away and had trouble with injured players.

“We’ve had to draft in a lot of young kids and obviously get people in on dual-reg from Wakefield which can cause disruption.

“But thankfully we’re seeing some players get back fit again now and hopefully we can turn this around. There’s still time.”

Schofield, who is only 26 and the son of Great Britain legend Garry Schofield, added: “We’ve had a good week training. I think we will get a good response. The players aren’t too far away. We are just concentrating on this week against Featherstone and we are looking to forget about previous results.”

Schofield had spells as a player at clubs including Hunslet, York, Castleford and Dewsbury and has been building a reputation as a bright up-and-coming coach at Rams, working under Morrison.

Asked if he is interested in the head coach role on a permanent basis, he said: “I’m just taking it week-by-week and we’ll see what happens. That’s my thoughts.

“The club will be advertising and there will be plenty of interest.”

Meanwhile, Featherstone head coach Jon Sharp has Leeds Rhinos’ Jordan Baldwinson on dual-registration as his side bid to respond after last week’s loss to Toulouse saw them drop to third.

“There’s a preconception that when teams make (coaching) changes it brings about a response from the players,” Sharp said.

“We are thoroughly expecting that, but it’s not about Dewsbury – it is about us and about us getting back to winning ways.

“We were unrecognisable from what we’ve been doing this year. It was really disappointing and we want to get out and play. It has been a long week.”