Coach sets four wins for Dons survival target

Gary Thornton - survival target. Photo: Lesley PickersgillGary Thornton - survival target. Photo: Lesley Pickersgill
Gary Thornton - survival target. Photo: Lesley Pickersgill
Doncaster boss Gary Thornton has set his side a ‘survival’ target as the club gets set to embark on its final five Championship games – three of which are against fellow strugglers.

“Four of the five are winnable and we’ve got to be looking to win those games because we need to be a maximum of four points behind the third-bottom team going into the new seven-game mini-league,” said Thornton, whose side are nine points behind third-bottom Workington Town.

The Dons take on Whitehaven, the only one of the bottom five to win yesterday, at Castle Park on Sunday and there is a feeling among supporters this could provide the club’s first win of the season.

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But Thornton warned: “We can’t afford to go into the game with the mind-set that it’s going to be easy because it’s not.”

Thornton, who will be checking on several players who picked up knocks in Friday’s 54-14 defeat at Featherstone, had mixed feelings on the game.

“There were loads of positives in some parts of the game but in other parts I couldn’t believe some of the things I saw at times,” he said.

“After 30 minutes we were still in the arm wrestle. They’d thrown a lot at us but we were only 10-6 down.

“Despite being 24-6 down we still thought that we had a chance,” he said. “We scored first but as soon as they scored a couple of quick tries you could see heads going down.”