Watson dismisses exit talk

Salford head coach Ian Watson has admitted that he is bemused by reports that he is set to be sacked.

A story emerged online last week that Watson was set to be shown through the AJ Bell exit doors at the end of the season, despite the fact Salford would currently occupy sixth place in Super League had they not been deducted six points for salary cap violations.

However, the Red Devils chief insists he is fully committed to the club, and revealed the news came as a surprise to everyone, including owner Marwan Koukash.

“Apparently, I was getting sacked at the start of the week,” Watson said.

“It came out of the blue, and Marwan and Tim were unaware of it too, so that was a bit of unexpected news for all of us. Things like that get put out. I normally ignore it, but it was put in front of me last week. I think someone was stirring the pot and trying to put more pressure on us, because to be fair it can unsettle players, but I love what I do here and wouldn’t leave.

“I enjoy working with the group. I knew at the start of the year we had a strong, competitive group, so we’ll crack on and ignore what is being said. We set a goal of making the top eight at the start of the season and after beating Widnes on Friday we would pretty much have secured that now, so that is satisfying for us to know we achieved what we set out to do at the beginning of the season.”

Along with Tim Sheens, Watson is now putting plans in place to add to his squad, both short-term and long-term.

“We’ve had a little look to be fair. It’s no secret that we’ve been one short in the front-row department, so we’ve been looking around throughout the season. There’re a couple of things Tim is working hard on and hopefully we can get one or maybe two in before the Middle 8s.

“At the moment talks are just on hold a bit for next season. We’ve identified targets and Tim is making calls all the time. But that’s the thing with the Middle 8s, things just have to go on hold and that is the downside of the concept to be fair.”