Salford Red Devils are 80 minutes away from their first Coral Challenge Cup final since 1969, and Mark Flanagan is confident his side can achieve that elusive Wembley trip.
Head coach Ian Watson and his men lost at the Semi-Final stage to Wigan Warriors in 2017, but Flanagan believes the current Salford outfit is more than capable of lifting the trophy.
Flanagan said: “We’ve got players in our squad who have played internationals, who have won Challenge Cups and who have won Super League Grand Finals.
“We know we’re probably not doing ourselves justice in the Super League, but we’d back ourselves against any team and we’ve won three in a row, including a gutsy performance against Catalans Dragons in the Quarter-Finals.
“Those standards and expectations are driven by the players as much as they are Ian [Watson] and we are all a very ambitious group of players and we’ll be very confident come Saturday.”
This afternoon’s clash with Warrington Wolves at the Totally Wicked Stadium will be Salford’s second Semi-Final appearance in a major competition in a year – an impressive achievement for Flash and his teammates.
“Ian Watson’s got to take a lot of credit for that because he’s a big part of the coaching staff, but also a big part of the Club as a whole,” he added.
“We’ve got a pretty strong culture at the Club, that all the players buy into.”
🗣️ "Sarg is massive"
🏉 We caught up with Ian Watson, at his side's final training session before @TheChallengeCup Semi-Final!
— Salford Red Devils 👹 (@SalfordDevils) October 2, 2020
Watson’s squad for the game against the Wolves will be boosted with the inclusion of Dan Sarginson, who is clear to play after his ban was overturned this week.
Speaking after yesterday’s last training session before the Semi-Final, Watson said: “Sarg is massive. He’s really stepped into Niall’s shoes in terms of his talk and his organisation defensively.
“And in his attack he’s just full of energy and running, and that’s what we want him to do: get involved and mix it up in the middle of the field because the big lads don’t like the smaller, faster lads running at them.”
Supporters can hear more from Flanagan and Watson HERE on RDTV.
Image credit: Steve McCormick