MATT Diskin is looking to his Oldham players to respond positively after their cup defeat at Swinton and to reverse the result in this evening's Betfred Championship opener against the Lions at Bower Fold.

Preparation has been about respecting possession, eradicating handling errors and finding ways to turn territorial advantage into points.

"The challenge for this group and its individuals is to quickly learn lessons," said the Oldham boss.

"There are no shortcuts. The season will be a roller-coaster, but the squad will always be resilient in its endeavours."

There was no lack of effort at Swinton. A powerful pack led by 'Rambo' Martyn Reilly did its job up front, but then came a lack of execution with little sign of the cutting edge that was needed to bust a tough Lions defence.

Describing the return clash in the league as a "big game for the club", Diskin added: "It's not often you get an opportunity to put things right against the same opponents within five days. We've got that opportunity and we have to grab it.

"You can't disrespect possession like we did at their place and expect to come through."

Declan Gregory, cleared to play after concussion, is expected to return on the bench, but the players trained last night, Thursday, and Diskin said he couldn't confirm anything about selection outside the 21-man squad he had already announced,

"No decisions yet," he said.

Five who didn't play at Heywood Road are included in the 21 – David Hewitt, Matthew Fletcher, Ben Holcroft, Joe Hartley and Gregory.

Big forwards Phil Joy and Luke Nelmes are still out injured, as is young half-back James Barran, who damaged a groin last time out.

There will have to be at least one change for Barran, but whether there will be others remains to be seen as Roughyeds look to hit the ground running in the Championship.