McDermott: Salford can challenge for silverware

Leeds coach Brian McDermott says Salford should be looking to fight for silverware, as they prepare to face the City Reds in the Challenge Cup this weekend.

Salford invested heavily in their team during their final season at The Willows, but failed to make the play-offs as Shaun McRae moved on, before Matt Parish’s controversial short stay.

But the close season saw a move to the brand new Salford City Stadium, and the appointment of Phil Veivers as head coach on a permanent basis.

He will be looking to guide Salford to the play-offs, and they have won four from 12 games so far this season, but McDermott believes the cup could represent an opportunity for the Reds.

He said: “I think Phil Veivers is doing a great job there and they have produced some great performances this season. 

“They have invested heavily in their new ground and I have no doubt that their management will want them to move up a gear and challenge for silverware. 

“The Cup is a fantastic opportunity for them and I am sure they will see the chance to knock us out as a real boost to their chances and we must be aware of that.”

While Leeds have picked up a host of honours in recent years, Salford haven’t won a major trophy since 1976, when they won the Rugby League Championship. Their solitary Challenge Cup triumph came back in 1938.

The odds are stacked against the Reds, as they have won just one of their last 33 games against Leeds.

That solitary win came back in 2009, when the City Reds won 30-20 at Headingley.

The two sides have already met this season, with the Rhinos running out 56-16 in their first visit to the Salford City Stadium.

McDermott added: “We had a good win over there earlier in the season but we were hot that night and Salford were a bit off. The good thing is that we have been there already this season so we are familiar with the new surroundings. 

“I am sure that Salford will be stronger this Sunday and we know that we need to reach that level of performance, at least, to keep our Challenge Cup hopes alive.”

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