ROUGHYEDS captain Gareth Owen has revealed the players have apologised to former coach Matt Diskin for letting him down.

He said the termination of Diskin’s contract was down to no-one but the players themselves.

In his latest programme notes, long-serving Owen, club captain for the past five seasons, said: “We (the players) have apologised to him because we didn’t meet the standards he set and we performed nowhere near where we wanted to be.

“That’s not down to the coaches, but to individual poor performances and the way we have made far too many errors.”

After parting company with Diskin, Oldham appointed the high-profile Brian McDermott as coaching consultant to the end of the season, to work alongside assistant boss Brendan Sheridan.

They were in charge for the first time when Roughyeds played Bradford Bulls at Bower Fold on Sunday – and continued to make mistakes in the first half, going down 54-22 and slipping to their eighth defeat in a row.

McDermott, the former Harlequins, Leeds Rhinos and Toronto Wolfpack boss and, on results alone, the most successful coach in Super League history, said afterwards that despite another defeat he was buoyed by the squad’s “commitment and unity.”

Oldham, currently second bottom, have nine games left in which to climb out of the bottom two in order to avoid relegation from the Betfred Championship.

The three teams immediately above them – York City Knights, Whitehaven and Dewsbury Rams – all lost as well. Oldham’s next game is at Whitehaven on Sunday week, July 25, in a challenge which many believe will define whether McDermott can achieve his target to lead Oldham to The Great Escape.

Owen, as captain, says club chairman Chris Hamilton couldn’t possibly have appointed anyone better.

Talking of McDermott, the hooker said: “He has an unbelievable record and when he speaks you listen.

“We know we have the players to compete in this division, but it’s all about mindset and Brian has improved that already.

“We were all disappointed when Matt Diskin left, but Brian’s arrival has given us all a lift, despite how we played in the first half against Bradford, and it’s up to us all, as a group, to make the most of having him here.”

Roughyeds have a hooking problem ahead of the Whitehaven game with Owen (back) and Declan Gregory (ankle) on the casualty list and Matty Wilkinson on long-term rehab after breaking his leg in pre-season.

Owen played against Bradford, but was taken off midway through the first half, never to return. He confirmed later that he was in a lot of back pain.

Young Jamie Abram played most of the game at hooker, but it will be all systems go in the next few days to get Owen and Gregory fit again in time for the trip to Cumbria, on which so much will be resting.