Salford hopeful of counting on the community’s support for Wakefield clash

Salford Red Devils coach Ian Watson is hopeful that the club can attract plenty of fans to cheer them on into the semi-finals of the Challenge Cup tonight.

Watson’s men take on Wakefield at the AJ Bell Stadium in a mouthwatering quarter-final between two of the competition’s surprise packages this season.

However, it is no secret that Salford have struggled to attract crowds despite an impressive season – only 2,678 attended last Friday’s game with Hull FC. And Watson is hopeful that can begin to change tonight.

“It would be great for the club and the community to be in the semi-finals of the Challenge Cup. It would boost it for the club and give it that real good positive vibe,” he said.

“Hopefully this weekend a lot more spectators will come down and really out-sing the Wakefield supporters and drive us to that semi-final.

Salford forward Mark Flanagan admits the attendances the club attract is not befitting of a side currently challenging for the title – but he hopes that victory on Thursday can be the springboard for more success.

He said: “This is as big as it gets. Salford haven’t been in many semi-finals of late, so if we get the result this week we’ll be there, and then just one game away from Wembley.

“We’re confident but we’re not under-estimating Wakey by any stretch of the imagination. They’ve beaten us twice this year.”

“It is probably true that for a team lying second in the table our support probably isn’t matching that league position.

“It would nice to play in front of bigger crowds but it takes time. Success isn’t bred overnight. It will start with a good win on Thursday and we’ll take that into the latter part of the season.”