Salford budget making it difficult to sign players, admits Ian Watson

Salford coach Ian Watson admitted the club’s low budget isn’t allowing them to make any more signings for the time being.

The Red Devils have 25 first-team players signed up for 2019 and although only 17 are needed to play a game, injuries have started to take their toll.

George Griffin, Lee Mossop and Junior Sa’u all suffered hamstring injuries in their 26-4 defeat to St Helens on Thursday. Jansin Turgut picked up a knock, while Jackson Hastings and Greg Burke both left the field for concussion assessments, too.

When asked if the injuries would push him to scour the transfer market, Watson replied: “I would love to dip in it but we don’t have the finances to do that.

“We have got a good enough squad and we have got competition for places in some of our middles.

“We’ve got Adam Lawton developing really well, who is playing down at Rochdale at the moment, his movements are looking a hell of a lot better.

“We’ve got Daniel Murray and Mark Flanagan as well, so there’s a few guys to drop in there, so I hope we’re not in a desperate situation just yet.

“Teams pick injuries up, but that’s not why we lost. Losing George and Moose [Lee Mossop] disrupted us but Saints were just phenomenal in defence.”

The Red Devils currently sit fourth in the Super League table after winning three from their first five games of the season.

Watson is pleased by their start to the campaign, but admitted they use their loss to the Saints as a learning curve.

“Credit to St Helens on how good they were defensively, that’s what we needed to be better at,” he added.

“We needed to learn how to control a game so we learned a lesson from a champion team.

“It has been a good start for us and it was a good performance from us against Saints. I would say it is a game that we can really build on, but the most disappointing one so far was our loss to Leeds.

“We didn’t represent ourselves in the Leeds game but we dug in against a really good St Helens team, where I think most other teams would’ve cracked earlier than we did.”

Watson confirmed Mossop, Sa’u, Hastings and Griffin will be assessed further in the coming days.

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