Dons: Cooke demands more graft

Paul Cooke

Paul Cooke

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Paul Cooke says more graft on the training ground is the way to reverse the club’s Championship reality check.

The Dons go into tonight’s televised visit of Featherstone Rovers (7.30pm, Keepmoat Stadium) on the back of six straight league defeats - but boosted by the weekend’s Challenge Cup win at South Wales Scorpions.

And star man Cooke is honest and open about the step up in class his side have encountered.

“We’re quickly finding out that everybody’s a bit better than last year,” said Cooke.

“It’s also noticable that the coaches at this level are coaching their teams very well.

“Teams have been finding us out a bit and identifying our weaknesses.

“We’re finding it a bit more difficult to break down other teams.”

Dons have slipped to second bottom in the table with wins over Barrow and Workington now a distant memory.

“We’ve only beaten two teams who came up with us last year so we need to be working a hell of a lot harder on the small aspects of our game,” said Cooke.

“Our preparation off the field has to be spot on to reap the rewards on it.

“We’re not a million miles away,” he added.

“But we’re just getting done by that one play or one lapse in concentration which is costing us dearly.”

Featherstone, meanwhile, started the season with six straight wins but come into tonight on the back of two league defeats in their last three.

n Dons will travel to Super League side Widnes Vikings in the fourth round of the Challenge Cup.

The tie will be played on April 20 or 21.