McManus: Our goal is silverware

St Helens chairman Eamonn McManus says the aim of his club is to win silverware and he believes Saints are better equipped in 2017 to make that happen.

St Helens finished fourth in the regular season and fourth in the Super 8s last year in what was a disappointing 12 months for the 2014 champions.

Saints missed out on a grand final spot with a close semi-final defeat to Warrington.

But McManus said the club is heading into the new season confident and excited.
“We were very close to getting to the finals [last year] and let’s face it, we should have been in there,” he said.

“I would say that the officiating in that game [against Warrington] was similar to Olympic boxing officiating, it seemed like the Salvation Army shall we say.

“But that’s not to disguise the fact that there were periods in the season where a club like St Helens should have been doing better than they were.

“That second half of the season, particularly when we got players back, the results improved but we’ve got a lot to make up for.

“We should be having silverware on the table, that’s the aim this season and I think we’re better equipped this season.

“I think we recruited pretty well and i think the younger players are a year more mature and able to handle things better in the season to come and we’re all approaching it with a great sense of excitement and confidence.

“It is its a huge season for us. I think we put a huge amount of effort into improving the team for next year and the competition is as strong as ever.

“Theres five or six teams that could win it this year but no game is going to be straight forward at all so it’s a huge season for us.

“We’ve gone a couple of seasons now without silverware and it’s something that we really do demand at this club and that’s what we will judge our success or otherwise on.”

St Helens kick off the 2017 campaign on February 9 at home to Leeds.

McManus is expecting strong opposition from the Rhinos.

“It’s a massive game, don’t read anything into the fact that :eeds had a bad season last season,” he said.

“Too many reasons were given for that and there’s only one and that’s because half of the team was missing for half of the season.

“So a full-strength Leeds is still one of the strongest sides in Super League.

“It’s a huge game for us to kick off the season with it equally important to both clubs to get a result.

“There’s a lot riding on the atmosphere you create at the clubs at the beginning of the season so you’ve got to be ready for it.”



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