Ian Watson – "Happy to get that win under our belts"

Salford Red Devils Head Coach Ian Watson was delighted with his sides dominant victory over Huddersfield and feels ‘the boys did themselves proud’.
Watson said: “We’re a good team and this period has been real tough for us and we’re happy to get that win under our belts.
“We’ve not been as good at sticking to our game plan as we were today for a while.
“The intensity with which we started the game I thought won us the energy battle with the likes of Sebastine Ikahihifo and Ukuma Ta’ai.
“They were under the pump early doors and that came to show as they came off pretty early whereas they normally do big minutes – we won that energy battle.
“The big one for us was when we conceded the try and then we pushed them in touch after the next set. That’s the sort of resilience we’ve been talking about in defence and we’ve not had that for a few weeks.”
The Red Devils ran in nine tries in a magnificent attacking display and Watson hailed his right-hand edge as well as Gareth O’Brien who started at half-back.
“We spoke about it on our right edge and executing a few things I didn’t expect us to do it so quickly after half-time though.
“Some of the young lads out there Jake Bibby and Ryan Lannon were fantastic. Young Jake was on that right-hand side and was a last-minute replacement for Greg Johnson.
“Gareth O’Brien was a smart half when he played for Warrington and I love him playing out the back with his ability but Niall Evalds has been good as well so it was well worth the risk moving Gaz into the halves.”

Olsi Krasniqi – "A really disappointing performance"

Salford forward Olsi Krasniqi is gutted that the Red Devils seem to have lost the chance to make the top four and knows the team need to pick themselves up quickly.
“It was a really disappointing performance, we got dominated by Wakefield and it’s going to be extremely difficult for us to get a top four place now.
“We didn’t really stick to the game plan and the attitude from the boys wasn’t right and I think that was evident and cost us in the second half, especially.
“The top four is still in view but we’ve given away a very very good chance there.
“It’s still there in sight but we’ve got some good teams that we need to beat now and the way we’re playing at the minute it’s going to be very difficult to overcome the likes of Huddersfield, Leeds and St Helens.
“We can’t dress this up at the moment – we just aren’t playing well and it needs to change very soon.
“But, if we can pick ourselves up and win our three games and win well you never know there’s an outside chance we might make the top four.
“Obviously, the most important thing is just to put in the performances now and show up and entertain the fans a little and take that into the 2018 season.

Junior Sa'u – "Only us who can turn it around"

Salford Red Devils centre Junior Sa’u admits that the side is low on confidence following a disappointing 18-43 defeat at the hands of fellow top four hopefuls Wakefield.
Sa’u, sponsored by Bullen Conservartion said: “We just keep turning off in games which just isn’t good enough.
“Obviously, we’re down on confidence and there’s only us who can turn it around individually and as a team.
“We’ve got to keep working hard and get back to the drawing board, fix the errors and just keep trying heading into these final few games.
“You can see the boys are down but we need to stay positive. We’ve got three more games to give it a good crack and just make sure we give it our all in these final three games and see where we end up.
“Whether we make the top four or not we’ve got to go out there and give it our all these next three week and play with some pride.
Sa’u returned to the Salford side after not featuring since the Challenge Cup semi-final and says he can always get better on a personal level.
Sa’u said: “I’ve got to go back and look at my individual performance and see what I can work on because there’s always room for improvement.
“But, as a group, we’ve got to knuckle down and put some performances in through these final three week starting against Huddersfield next Saturday.”

Ian Watson – "That's not what we're about"

Salford Red Devils Head Coach Ian Watson gave an honest assessment of his sides performance following their 18-43 defeat at the hands of Wakefield.
Watson questioned his sides desire as the Red Devils may have let slip a great opportunity to challenge for a top four spot in the Super League Super 8s.
Watson said: “It was an embarrassment from us, to be fair. The way we’re playing at the moment isn’t good enough.
“As individuals, and as a club, it’s not what we’ve been about and it’s something that needs rectifying quickly.
“People patted us on the back earlier in the season saying we’ve massively progressed from the Million Pound Game to becoming a top eight side but since we got in the top eight it seems like we’ve lost that bit of desire and don’t want to push through and be even better.
“That’s not what we’re about and that’s not the ethic we breed here at Salford.
“When you get an opportunity to be in the top eight and even be a top four team you’ve got to grab that chance with both hands and see what you get out of it.
“It should be something you look forward to playing at the top end of the table but for whatever reason we’ve lost that desire and it’s not everybody – individuals I’d say.”
The Red Devils went into half-time trailing by just eight points but two tries in quick succession in the second half helped Trinity pull away and Watson feels mistakes were a big problem for Salford.
Watson said: “We just made stupid errors. The errors we made, we then didn’t have the resilience to then defend that error and it’s something we’ve spoken about all season defending our errors.
“We conceded scrappy tries from kicks and then they got three penalties on the bounce which kind of took the score out a bit.
“But, the game was still there to be won and we needed a solid start in the second half which we kind of had but then we made another error, conceded a repeat set and then they score and we just weren’t showing that desire.
“There’s probably going to be some brutal honest conversations this week and let’s see where we go from there.”

Craig Kopczak – "The place will erupt again"

Red Devils forward Craig Kopczak says the aim is to get ‘smiles back on faces’ following Salford’s defeat at Wigan.
Kopczak, sponsored by Jones & Brooks, said: “Momentum and confidence is low and things are just not going our way and the break that’s coming up is going to do us a world of good to be honest.
“We need to have a bit of a break and focus on a few things.
“We’ll freshen up our bodies and minds and really attack it hard in this last little block of fixtures we’ve got. We’re still optimistic, it’s still there to be taken so we’ve just got to have a good crack at it.
“We just need to recover and get some smiles back on faces and get that buzz going around the place again like it was earlier in the season.
“Once we get that first victory the place will erupt again.”
The Red Devils have struggled with injuries over the last few weeks and Kopczak is one player who has only just returned to the side.
“After my injury coming back now I’m just giving it my all when I’m out there and it’s always difficult when confidence in the camp is low.
“But, I’m trying to use my experience and get everyone fired up and ready for games it’s just hard to get out of when you’re in that dip in form.
“Injuries happen and the team we’re putting out is very capable of winning every game so it’s not that big of a factor – we don’t look for excuses.
“Wakefield are going really well they’re having a real good dig at making the top four as well and we need to welcome them with the right attitude and turn this run around.”

Ian Watson – "We just weren't good enough"

Red Devils head coach Ian Watson feels his side lost the forward battle in their defeat to Wigan at the DW Stadium on Friday.
Watson said: “We had a little bit of possession on their line early on and we probably we needed to take a couple of points there to give us a bit of a foothold.
“But, we didn’t and they marched us down the field and I thought their middles were outstanding and absolutely dominated us, to be fair.
“There’s a quality of player you do miss but it’s no excuse it wasn’t good enough from us as a group.
“We’ve been discussing that in there as a team we want to compete going forward it’s just managing to turn the form books upside down as we’ve been saying.
“We just weren’t good enough and I thought Wigan were outstanding. We’ve met probably the three best teams at the moment in Hull, Castleford and Wigan as well and we’ve not done ourselves any favours with our performances.
“The effort was better in the second half and that’s what we’ve said if we had some of that effort in the first half we might have had a little bit of a different outlook on the game.
“But, like I say, I think we met Wigan on a good day and they’re getting ready for a big Challenge Cup final.
“What we wanted to do was try and rectify that semi-final defeat more than anything but I just thought they were too good for us today to be honest.
“Hopefully, this couple of weeks will give us a bit of time to get a couple of players back on the field which can give us a little bit more experience – we need to find a balance between training and freshening up both mentally and physically.”

Todd Carney – "You have these periods"

Despite losing to Castleford on their return to the The Salford Stadium half-back Todd Carney feels there are positives from the Red Devils performance.
Carney, sponsored by Prowood, said: “Yeah, it’s disappointing but that’s footy I guess you have these periods and it’s tough to get out of them.
“We were a lot better than last week so that’s a positive.
“We’ll take a few negatives and positives from the game but credit to Castleford they’re a good team who play some positive football.
“We’ve just got to turn up Monday and train hard and work ourselves out of it but it’s just Rugby League.”
The Red Devils caused Castleford issues and Carney knows that Salford were unlucky to not have scored more points on Friday evening.
Carney said: “We were held up twice and we had two tries disallowed earlier in the game.
“Manu Vatuvei scored 15 metres from the first contact so I think that’s a try.
“Early in the game Niall Evalds goes through I think that’s 12 points there that we probably should gave had but the referee has seen a different picture.
“But, if you get those tires early in the day it’s a different ball game. We could have had four tries so there’s some more points which make it a different game completely.
“It was mine and Robert Lui’s fourth or fifth game together and it’s working it’s coming along.
“But, you’ve got to take note of Castleford’s defence it’s been good all season.”
Fans are reminded that tickets are now on sale for Red Devils remaining home games in the Super 8s against Wakefield, Huddersfield and St Helens. Tickets can be bought over the phone, at the club’s ticket office or online via the club website. Supporters are also reminded that season tickets are valid for all Super 8s home games.

Ian Watson – "We just needed to take our opportunities"

Red Devils head coach Ian Watson is confident his side are learning lessons from the Super 8s despite falling to a 4-23 defeat at the hands of current table toppers Castleford.
Watson said: “Obviously, we’d like to be coming out of these games with victories but we are learning every week.
“Competing in the Super 8s is something we haven’t done before and we’re using this opportunity to improve and continue to grow as a side.
“We’ve got a few experience members in the side but the younger lads are really learning from this experience.
“Last weekend in the second half against Hull I was disappointed with the effort from the boys but the effort was certainly there against Castleford.
“Competing against the best sides like Castleford and Hull week in week out can only benefit us as a side.
“We actually had a lot of ball on Castleford’s line and we looked dangerous for large periods of the game which is extremely positive – we just needed to take our opportunities.
“I thought Robert Lui and Todd Carney’s partnership continued to develop and looked promising and Manu Vatuvei was brilliant again.
“We were on the end of a few tough calls in the first half particularly Manu Vatuvei’s try which got ruled out for an obstruction by Ryan Lannon.
“We are competing which is very pleasing and it’s always difficult when you’re on a bad run but we’re still confident we can push for a top four place.
“We’ve got another tough game against Wigan next weekend which will be another great test for the lads.”
Fans are reminded that tickets are now on sale for Red Devils remaining home games in the Super 8s against Wakefield, Huddersfield and St Helens. Tickets can be bought over the phone, at the club’s ticket office or online via the club website. Supporters are also reminded that season tickets are valid for all Super 8s home games.

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