Salford Red Devils Head Coach Ian Watson admits his side are not a ‘semi-final team’ and they must face reality, following Thursday night’s loss to St Helens.
Watson says Salford must realise their potential in 2019, after Saints went away from the AJ Bell Stadium with two points.
The Red Devils have now lost against Leeds Rhinos and St Helens so far in the Betfred Super League and Watson believes his players must learn from ‘champion’ teams.
Watson said: “You have to give credit to St Helens. Defensively, they were phenomenal. They were really consistent in turning us over and being really patient with their line speed and intensity in defence.
“We spoke about that at half time and the need to control the game, but we’ll learn a lesson from a champion team.
“We’ve got a group who know how we want to play and what we want to be known as. Saints have taught us a lesson in how we want to set up in defence and having that patient approach.
“Until we buy into that and are as good as them at that, we won’t get to those semi-finals.”
Despite Watson’s confessing the club’s realistic hopes for this campaign, the Red Devils boss is proud of his players and their success so far, as Salford have won three out of five games.
He said: “I’m really confident in the player’s ability to learn and to go forward from here.
“It’s been a good start for us and I would say the performance against Saints was really good as well. It’s pleasing and it’s something we can build on.
“We dug in against a really good team and most other teams probably would have cracked a lot earlier than what we did. There was a lot of effort and endeavour from our boys.”
Watson also acknowledged Salford’s inability to bring any extra players due to recent injuries.
“I would love to dip in it,” he laughed when asked about the transfer market.
“We don’t have finances to do that. We’ve got a good enough squad and competition for places. I don’t think we’re not in a desperate situation just yet.”