Dons already planning for League One - Thornton

Mitch Clark (centre) is out for the rest of the season after breaking his arm against London Broncos.

Mitch Clark (centre) is out for the rest of the season after breaking his arm against London Broncos.

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Doncaster RLFC may be facing almost certain relegation from the Championship but head coach Gary Thornton wants them to go down fighting.

“We know we face a massive task to stay up and that’s why it was so important that we gave it our best shot at London on Saturday,” he said this week.

“We spoke before the game about at least giving ourselves a chance to try and make some ground up and we did that in the first half.

“Obviously, once it becomes mathematically impossible to stay up, as could be the position after this weekend’s games, then you are just playing for personal pride and that is what I will try to make the players do.

“We never go into any game thinking that we are going to lose, but not surprisingly given our record this season, we are a team very low on confidence as you can see and when the tide turns against us that seems to be it.

“It’s going to be very difficult for everyone concerned, but we’ve got to make sure for the fans more than anything that we’ve got to be as competitive as we can in our remaining games, starting with the visit of Featherstone on Sunday.

“If we could pick up another two or three wins along the way that would be fantastic as it would give us a bit more credibility and hopefully convince the players and the supporters that there is something we can build on here.

“That’s what we are doing at the moment – looking to build for next year while at the same time remaining focused on trying to win games this season.

“That doesn’t mean that there will be wholesale changes.

“We are talking to the players we want to keep - we have to do that because they’ll be getting targeted by other clubs and we can’t be naive enough to think they’ll all stay loyal to us after this year.

“But I’ve had some very positive feedback from the ones I’ve already spoken to and nobody has told me that they don’t want to stay yet.

“It’s now up to (CEO) Carl (Hall) to sort the deals out that are right for both parties.

“But I’m convinced that the players we are hoping will stay will ensure that we are competitive in League One next season.

“At this moment in time we don’t have a squad of players that can successfully compete at Championship level.

“I think that’s been pretty obvious this season, although injuries to key players – especially at half-back - certainly have not helped.”

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