Chris Taylor has stated that Whitehaven needs to be a tough place for teams to go to in the Betfred Championship in 2023.
Whitehaven had a disappointing campaign last year when they finished 10th as their squad suffered from instability, largely affected by a wave of injuries to key players, including Taylor.
Haven won just five of their home matches in 2022 and that is something Taylor is looking to fix this season as they look to rebuild their credentials as a play-off side. They get their home campaign up and running and the Recreation Ground on Sunday afternoon when they entertain the London Broncos.
He tells The Sportsman: “Our home form has to be strong, we’ve got to make teams not want to travel to Whitehaven. We’ve got to pick up as many points as possible at home and hopefully get some away from too”
Whitehaven suffered a 24-8 defeat at Bradford Bulls in the season opener last weekend which reiterated his point for the team to be a terrifying force on home soil, and he has confidence in the current squad after they reached the play-offs back in 2021 when they had just been promoted from League One.
“We’re confident, we had a strong squad when we came up to the Championship. I don’t think it was a coincidence that we did well. We had a good dressing room and it was the same last year.
“We worked hard, we were a bit unfortunate with injuries, I only played one game and I was out for much of the year and the same happened to a lot of the older boys.”
“It knocked us as it meant that we didn’t have a steady squad, we had a lot of loan lads in and we never kept a spine in the team so we struggled. We did finish strongly which showed that we are a force when we’ve got everyone fit and out on the field.
“We’ve worked hard this year and I think we’re all confident. We’ve bought into what Jonty [Gorley] and the coaching staff want us to do.”
Taylor is also celebrating his testimonial year with Whitehaven and he is really proud to have made it to his 10th year with the club, despite having to have travelled up and down the M6 several times a week from Cumbria. The club are honouring his services with a 12-month testimonial.
“10 years at Whitehaven, I’m delighted with that [the 12-month testimonial] and I’m looking forward to it. I've got a few things in the pipeline which I’m sure the fans will get behind."
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