Nathan Brown has backed his new signings to help make the difference between success and failure this year.
The Saints head coach praised the balance of the squad he has assembled during the off-season but warned that the club’s season would not be defined by result of the tough opening day clash against Warrington Wolves.
“We feel like the balance of the squad is a bit better this year but the proof is in the playing. We’ve tried to get the right balance in the team and we’re optimistic we can have an exciting year,” said Brown.
“We didn’t actually start that slowly last season but we would like to start a little bit better this year. It was the period a bit later on when we suffered lots of injuries.
“We hope to play well against Warrington but I imagine we would improve as the year goes on. Either way, the first game won’t be what determines where we finish.”
Brown, who told of his satisfaction at the pre season efforts of his players, hailed the “competitiveness” in the squad and told how the club’s new-look pack would offer him plenty of options.
“What Mose Masoe does is different to what Kyle Amor does, and that’s going to be useful,” he said.
“And having Luke Walsh in the halves brings us a really good kicking game. His arrival will also allow Jon Wilkin to go back into the back row.”
He added: “Obviously, in the backs, we’ve lost Francis Meli. But we’ve got some good outside backs.
“Matty Dawson is an interesting player. He’s had a bad run with injuries but also played really well against Warrington and Leeds last year. We think he’s a player with good potential who can become a good Super League player.
“This club’s got a great culture and it’s important that the younger players understand the nature of the great players who’ve been here in the last 15 years or so.
“Pre-season has been good. We have made some subtle changes and there has been an increase of younger players at training - those that came in last year and those who are now part of the first team squad. That has been exciting and we have a squad that has a good chance of being successful.
“We are comfortable with the recruits we have made. Like all sides, whether you run first, fifth or eighth, you want to improve your squad. If you stand still someone will go past you.
“We have made some signings that can help complement and improve our squad. They are also good people too and that is really important.”