Watson delighted with Wigan opener as Salford look to silence doubters

Salford head coach Ian Watson has challenged his side to silence the doubters by toppling Wigan in their first game of the season.

The Red Devils have been heavily tipped to struggle in 2018, despite finishing in the top eight and making the Challenge Cup semi-final last year.

Their credentials will be put the test in the most extreme way possible when they welcome reigning World Club Champions Wigan to the AJ Bell Stadium. However, Watson is eager to see his side step up to the challenge.

“I love these big games and big challenges,” he said.

“It’s a game we’re really excited for and the good thing with them is that they’ve had the majority of their squad for pre-season with a few big players like Sam Tomkins and Liam Farrell not going to the World Cup.

“They will be really confident, so it’s a great challenge for us to come up against them and see what we can do. Hopefully we can come out of it the right side this year as they got us last year.”

With all the off-field talk surrounding the club, Watson has emphasised the importance of his side focusing on the challenges ahead on the field.

“What we’ve got to do is focus on us and our performance,” he said.

“I think we’ve done that in the off-season games and shown up really well with things we’ve put in place. The true test is now Wigan and I for one am dead excited to welcome them and see where we go from there.”