‘Dons will take nothing for granted’ - Thornton

Gary Thornton
Gary Thornton

Doncaster RLFC head coach Gary Thornton says he is taking it “game by game” after his side’s winning start to the new League One season.

The Dons travel to Keighley Cougars on Sunday having overcame University of Gloucester All Golds 40-8 in their league opener.

Thornton was keen to play down early talk of promotion after the opening day win but he admitted his squad are gelling well, and feels they should be at the right end of League One come the end of the campaign.

“It’s early days, there’s a long way to go,” he said.

“We just wanted to put a competitive squad together for this division and finish as high as we can.

“We’re not making any predictions, we’re taking it game by game.

“The players that have come in are a good close-knit bunch and they’re enjoying what they’re doing. And obviously when you’re winning it’s a much, much better environment.

“I’d like to think we’ll be up there somewhere near the top come the end of the season, but there’s a long long way to go.”

Thornton says the Dons won’t underestimate any opponents this season, ahead of their first away game at Keighley.

“I keep telling people this is not an easy division, there’s some good teams. I don’t think you can take anybody lightly,” he said.

“It’s going to be tough to get out of this division, we’ve got some tough challenges ahead. It starts again with Keighley away.

“It’ll be a different set of circumstances for us on a small pitch. It’ll be a differrent set of challenges, but I think we’ll be up for it.”

Thornton praised his squad for how well they’ve gelled given the amount of new signings in the dressing room.

He also said that he is happy with his acquisitions, and one injury aside, he thinks the squad is good enough for the challenges ahead.

“We’ve brought 20 new players in this year so it has taken us a while to get everybody gelling, but I’m pretty pleased with what I’ve seen so far,” he said.

“We are a new squad, a developing squad, and hopefully we’ll get better week by week.

“We’ve probably got a bit of a problem at half back with Jordan Howden being injured.

“I’ll have to monitor the situation because that’s our biggest worry with Howden out, but once we’ve got him fit and ready we’ll be good to go.”