Sean Long didn’t mince his words when analysing Saints 16-14 defeat at bottom of the table Widnes on Friday night, insisting that poor execution and a soft attitude cost them the chance of picking up two much-needed points.
“We must learn lessons from that defeat as we prepare to face Leigh Centurions at the Totally Wicked Stadium on Friday,” he said.
We had a few players out but I do believe the side selected was more than capable of putting in a good performance and getting the winSean Long
“It doesn’t look any better when you watch it back in the cold light of day.
“We also probably started a little soft, didn’t turn up with the right attitude and didn’t give Widnes enough respect as a group.
“On the flipside, I thought the Vikings were outstanding and felt it was the best they had played for a long time.
“But we have to learn from it and tidy up where we can get better.
“We have had a tough Easter period, playing against Wigan with 12 men, took on league leaders Castleford and then played a local derby.
“It takes it out of the boys. We had a few players out but I do believe the side selected was more than capable of putting in a good performance and getting the win.
“I know as a player it is hard to keep backing up and being 100 per cent all the time but there may have been a few out there who thought it may have been easier than they realised - and you can’t do that in Super League.”
Long expects Tommy Makinson, Ryan Morgan, and Luke Douglas to return this Friday with Adam Walker also having a good chance too after a stellar performance in the Reserves.
He came off the bench to help Saints ease to a 34-26 victory over Warrington.
James Roby and Jonny Lomax won’t face the Centurions but could come back the following week.
Long continued: “No disrespect to Leigh but the focus this week is on ourselves. We have played them once, we know what they are all about and they have already beaten us once. This week the focus is purely on ourselves and getting our attack right.
“The defence has been looking good all year but we need to tidy up stuff with our attack.
“We have tried to implement stuff in video sessions which is hard as we have not been on the field over the Easter period. It will be good for us to get out on the field to put it into practice.
“They have got a massive pack and good strike so we know we are going to get challenged. Hopefully we will throw the ball about a little bit more and turn up with a better attitude. I expect us to be focused on ourselves and hopefully get a victory in front of our own fans.
“They were brilliant against Cas and to do it in front of them would be brilliant.
“We can’t turn off. We have to stick with what we do and show the rest of the teams in this league we are mentally strong and can mount a challenge for those big matches.”
Tickets for the game, which kicks off at 8pm, are on sale from the Ticket Office at the Totally Wicked Stadium, or by calling 01744 455 052.