Salford Red Devils are rising into the Super League play-offs but coach Paul Rowley is keen to keep a lid on any expectations from his unfancied underdog side.
A stunning 46-14 victory over Catalans Dragons in Perpignan on Saturday put the Red Devils into finals contention and raised cautious eyebrows among the top-four sides, but Rowley refuses to fall for the hype.
“We’re happy being the underdogs,” he said.
“And that’s the way it will stay; it’s who we are because being under the radar suits us and we’re glad we don’t have the pressure that comes with being favourites. If we get where we want to be, we still won’t be the favourite.
“If we make the play-offs, it will be like starting again in a mini-league and we’ll be the underdog again.”
Rowley believes it is the humble nature of his side, combined with a competitive streak, that has been the secret of Salford’s success in the second half of the season.
Four wins from five have put them into the top six, but the Red Devils’ coach is keen to keep the club’s feet on the ground.
“Keeping the players humble isn’t a problem,” he added.
“Nobody’s seeking any praise throughout our group and it will just continue like that; it’s in the character of the players too and how it’s been from day one. That culture was set early doors and it’s been driven and it continues to be.
“The wrong sort of characters wouldn’t last in our culture; we have no issues with anyone in the group, they are all humble and grounded and we will continue in that way.”
The above content is also available in the regular weekly edition of League Express, on newsstands every Monday in the UK and as a digital download. Click here for more details.