Widnes boss Denis Betts says he’s full of admiration for the job Ian Watson is doing with Salford Red Devils.
The two teams meet at the AJ Bell Stadium on Sunday having enjoyed vastly different fortunes so far this season.
While Widnes are rooted to the foot of the table, Watson’s Salford head into the weekend fifth in the standings and just two points adrift of leaders Castleford.
Betts told the club’s official website: “They’re playing with confidence – they’re well-drilled and well-coached.
“Ian works hard at his coaching. He’s coached in the Championship and learnt his trade, but he’s a Super League coach now.
“There’s only twelve jobs out there, so if you’re in it you must be half decent at what you do. I think working under Tim Sheens last year has probably helped him a lot, but I think he’s got his own ideas.
“He’s got some real good match management skills and understands the game being a half-back. It’s pleasing when you see British coaches working hard and not just relying on a name or a little bit of luck.
“He’s worked hard to be in that situation – he deserves everything they’ve got at the moment. They were a good side last year and played good rugby.
“Our competition with Salford over the last three or four years have been sort of the highlight of the year – we’ve had some great tussles.
“Both sides have had a run at each other over the last couple of years, so it should be a great competition again.
“We’re looking to build and move forward, while they’re looking to consolidate a place in a table that looks pretty strong.”