Richard Marshall insists the pressure is on Widnes

Richard Marshall has shifted the pressure on Widnes ahead of Halifax’s trip to the Vikings.

The Fax chief praised the Widnes squad and their head coach, Kieron Purtill, and believes they’re in for a good season.

However, he thinks his side can provide a shock on Sunday, with Marshall stating it to be a good time to play them.

“The pressure is on Widnes,” he said.

“They’re coming down from Super League with a really good team and a great coach. They have Adam Tangata of course and some other fantastic players too.

“I think it’s a good time to play a team coming down from Super League. You can catch them a bit cold. We have a tough start but you’ve to play every team. They’ll be skilful and well drilled.

“We played Widnes in the Qualifiers and we didn’t think we were far off. They’ll be up to speed in the Championship now, but it’s a difficult competition. We’ve got some battle-hardened players and our attitude will be 100%.”

Fax have once again gone under the radar heading into the season, despite finishing in the top four in three of the last four campaigns.

“We’re not bothered what other people think or say, if they said we’d finish top it would be irrelevant. What’s important is putting a strong squad together and junior development, we’ve done both of those things.

“It’s a good squad. It is well-balanced with some good experience and some talented young players. It doesn’t mean you always win games. What has won us those big games in the past has been attitude and commitment. We have a team-first mentality.

“But this is a strong squad that is financed partly through supporters and the board has backed me. Players want to come and play at Halifax now, we don’t pay the most money but provide a positive environment.”

When asked if Fax could fight for promotion, Marshall said fans should be able to dream.

“It’s unrealistic given the spends of the other clubs, but it’s never about what you spend, it’s about what you prove over 80 minutes on the field. It’ll be very difficult, but it’s not impossible.”