As Salford Red Devils head over to France to face Catalan Dragons on Saturday, Head Coach Ian Watson takes a positive mindset in the hope that his side can bring home two points.
On last weekend’s game against St Helens…
I thought there was loads of positives from playing the best team in the competition at the moment, who everyone’s tipped to win the Grand Final. We competed in large parts and for the first 20 minutes of the game we were really good – really good arm wrestle and we were finishing our sets well in that period.
They just maintained theirs a lot longer and continued to finish the sets really well in corners and upped the line speed defensively. They won the field position through the defence – I thought the defence was outstanding on the day.
For us, a lot of positives. We were a hell of a lot better defensively in the second half and started to dominate on the field position. We just needed to do it straight from the start of the game and have that mentality to stay in those arm wrestles with the top teams for longer.
On Salford’s defence…
It’s a big focus for us as a team and for the lads individually. They want to be known for the defence and they want to build a reputation on having good defence, especially on the back of the chase. Its where the teams win the field position on the back of the early tackles.
We’ve spoken about it this year and we know for four halves of football this year we’ve nilled teams which is a big plus for us as a team, where we’re saying that we really want to be represented in our defence.
On this week’s preparations…
We’ve had a great week after a few niggles after the Saints game, which you get after playing against some of the best teams because they’re tough games like that when they’re pretty much an arm wrestle mentality.
Theres a few players that we’ll assess as we go forward on through the week but the early parts of the sessions from Monday into today and Wednesday, we’ve had two great sessions so hopefully we can take that forward now.
On the squad…
We’ll take Adam Lawton with us this time, so he’ll be in the 20-squad that we take over with us. He’s been doing really well at Rochdale so he’ll put competition on our middles, as will Adam Walker.
With us knowing that he’s back the following week will put more pressure on the players to make sure they’re performing and doing their job because Adam’s a known quality middle so we’ll want to feature him as soon as we can once his bans over. It’s up to the boys to go out there and put their best performance out there so they maintain the place for the following week.
On Saturday’s game against Catalan Dragons…
Catalan are a tough team, it’s a tough place to go. Our records not great over there for the past couple of years so we want to go across there with a real positive mindset and attack that straight from the beginning. We want to do that in attack and in defence so we’re looking to go with a positive performance and try and get the win there this year, but we know it’s a real tough ask to do that and we need to be at our best to do it.
It’ll build on the performance of St Helens. I thought St Helens was a really good performance in terms of our attitude and our effort when playing against the top teams. What we need to do is show that against Catalan and show that we can compete against the best teams, week in and week out because Catalan were up there last year and they won the cup. They had a great performance against Warrington last week, so if we can go out there and set our stall out then I think it’ll bode well for the rest of the season.
On the fans…
I think the support has been great this year and the players talk about it as well! I keep talking about the away games because you can consistently hear them all the time. They’re in good voice and they’re really positive and behind the players when they’re at the games.
The home games have been really loud and vocal and it’s good to see more supporters coming through the turnstiles. We’ve always had a good following go to Catalan so hopefully we can reward those fans with a victory this time.