Brown: We must not panic

Nathan Brown
Nathan Brown
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Nathan Brown insists there’s no need to hit the panic button after Saints suffered their fourth defeat in a row.

The Aussie, who hopes to welcome back experienced duo Josh Perry and Willie Manu for Friday’s derby against Widnes, admits it’s vital Saints quickly return to winning ways.

But he pointed at the performances of some of the younger brigade – who have made the step up during the squad’s injury crisis – as plenty of reasons for optimism.

He said: “It’s a win-win situation for the young kids at the moment. They’re excited to be playing a lot of footie and contributing in a pretty good manner – but it’s a steep learning curve when you’re young.

“Against London, it was Mark Percival and Josh Jones who nearly got us out of trouble and I thought Luke Thompson was terrific on his 18th birthday coming off the bench.

“Adam Swift was also going great until he got hurt and Alex Walmsley came off the bench and made an impact again.

“It was frustrating to lose another close game though. The most disappointing part was that – as in the previous three weeks – we created the chances to win but our decision-making, at times, is not what we’d like.

“Unfortunately, at the moment, we’re consistently not taking those chances. Whilst, at times, we’re not helping ourselves – things aren’t quite falling our way either.”

Brown admitted that Saints had taken too long to adjust to the tactical changes enforced by Adam Swift’s injury, saying it “took a bit of the wind out of our sails”.

Fortunately, Swift, who was stretchered off, is set for no more than “a few weeks” on the sidelines.

But Brown denied that any of the players needed picking up after the demoralising 21-14 reverse against the Broncos.

“The older players still have that strong winning culture that this club has had for a number of years,” he said, “and the young players are just excited to be out there.”

Meanwhile, experienced winger Ade Gardner is set to return to the squad this week after serving his one match ban.

Gardner said: “The players are hurting at the moment. At Saints you expect to be winning week in week out - it’s tough to take. Opposition teams have started getting their tails up against us now too.

“Jon Wilkin’s ban definitely hasn’t helped us - we haven’t got the luxury sides like Leeds have with Burrow, Maguire and Sinfield. But we’ll come out of this stronger.”