Doncaster Knights: Griffiths’ warning for promotion chasing Knights

Doncaster Knights 2013/2014. Picture: Marie Caley D5386MC
Doncaster Knights 2013/2014. Picture: Marie Caley D5386MC
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Clive Griffiths has warned his players not to be arrogant in their bid to regain Championship status.

Knights launch their National One promotion quest at home to Blackheath on Saturday (2.30pm).

The Castle Park club have been strongly tipped to put a problematic couple of years behind them and make an instant return to the second tier.

Like Rovers last season, they possess an experienced squad of players who believe they should be playing at a higher level than the National League.

But director of rugby Griffiths was keen to sound a warning to his men on the eve of the new season - go about it the right way, or make life even more difficult for yourselves.

“There’s got to be a belief - without being arrogant,” Griffiths told the Free Press.

“If you’re arrogant, then you’ll get your backside kicked.

“I like confidence but I abhor arrogance. You put extra effort in against teams that are arrogant.

“We can’t exude that arrogance outwardly.

“We can stick with it inwardly within the group. Everyone’s got to have a bit of arrogance and ego about them but it’s harnessing that in the right way.

“There’s a belief here that we can get back up.

“But it’s a long haul. You’re 30 miles down the road if you like - with 30 league games to negotiate.

“We’ve seen enough during pre-season to suggest we’ll have a big say in the title race.

“But we know it’s going to be difficult. Teams in this league will raise their game against Doncaster.

“There’s a still few more recruits to come in,” he added.

“We know which areas we need to strengthen, so fingers crossed we can do that.”

Knights won just five competitive games last season in all competitions as the club suffered their first relegation in their entire history.

In a bid to freshen things up, Dons star Paul Cooke has joined the Castle Park coaching staff.

“We’ve gelled quickly as a coaching group,” said Griffiths.

“Paul brings a wealth of experience and he’s identified things right through.

“It’s a coup for the club.

“Myself and Paul are both double-coders and we’re on the same wavelength. That’s the main thing.”