Salford head coach Ian Watson admitted that the club’s failed salary cap hearing impacted his players following their 40-14 defeat to Warrington.
The Red Devils’ place in the bottom four was confirmed after their seven-try defeat, which came hours after it was announced the club’s appeal to get their six league points back had failed.
“Everyone was well aware of it,” Watson said. “The tough thing is that the result came out on game day.
“So we kind of spoke quickly about it in the morning but we didn’t want to make too big a thing out of it.
“All the players were really positive, wanting to focus on this game, get the victory and move forward, but it does have an impact on your thinking.
“Emotion only takes you so far. It’s been a tough day all round for the club and for the players.”
Watson, who didn’t duck one question following a difficult day, admitted that his focus was now on building ahead of the Qualifiers.
“What we need to do now is finish the season strongly, these next two games, and then we can look forward to the Middle 8s and go in there with some form.
“It’s going to be a tough competition to play in. If we can get the wins and look back and say, with those six points, we’re a top-six team, then we’ve done really well.”