Watson warns Reds to be on top of their game in must-win scenario

Ian Watson

Ian Watson

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SALFORD RED Devils head coach Ian Watson admits his side’s game at Headingley tonight is a “must-win” scenario.

They are still striving to reach the top eight despite having six points deducted in April for breaking salary cap rules.

Ahead of this round of fixtures, Salford were four points off the pace with six games to go having lost narrowly to Wigan 23-20 last weekend when they also suffered a number of injuries. And Watson said: “It’s a big game for us. To be fair they all are now. They are all must win. All cup finals. But we have prepared really well considering what we have had to deal with.

“We ask our players to learn from every experience and this group has done that all season. Now we have to take all of that over to Headingley.”

They have a wretched record there having won only once at Leeds during the summer era.

That was a 30-20 success in 2009 but, with Rhinos currently bottom and on a seven-game losing run, there has never been a better time for them to remedy that. However, Watson maintained: “Leeds are dangerous. Their league position is irrelevant. They are always prepared. We have spent a lot of time looking at them and they’re generally in the game at half-time.

“They also always seem to score first. Our job will be to match their intensity – their appetite, and match them going forward. We have spent a lot of time on recovery as we looked in bad shape after that Wigan loss. We have done a lot of mental preparation and it looks to have paid off as we have more or less everybody ready.”

Salford were eighth when seeing that points deduction but instantly dropped to 11th and are now up to 10th.

Rhinos' Brent Webb is tackled by Tigers' Joe Westerman and Michael Shenton.

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