After experiencing his first Magic Weekend, Justin Holbrook is excited about seeing his first derby.
Saints face Wigan tomorrow (8pm) at the Totally Wicked Stadium looking to secure only their second ‘back-to-back’ victory of the season.
“I got here at a good time!” he said. “I was fortunate enough to get here in time for the Magic Weekend and I said after the game what a great concept I thought that was. It was a great weekend and then I roll into a local derby.
“It is huge for both Saints and Wigan and I’m sure it will be a good game. They have got a good football team and Shaun (Wane) must be a good coach to have them firing the way they have. It’s well documented how many players they have out and that is probably why they are sitting where they are.
“But this club wasn’t happy with where they were sitting and that’s why I am here. They expect to be near the top as they are a proud, successful club. We are working hard to climb up the ladder.
“It has been easier to come into training after a win on Saturday. It is always more enjoyable after you have won. As the next couple of days roll around, we will get down to it because we know we are in for a tough game.
“We came through ok. Jonny Lomax is one we would love to have back but I’m not sure if he will be able to make it on time. If he does it would be a great addition. If he runs out of time then I am happy with who we have got and how we ran at the weekend.
“We did our review today and saw some areas we could improve in. The players bought into it and it gives me more reason to hope that the players can play better.”
Justin says he hasn’t set any targets for the squad this season in terms of league position, focusing on improvement and performances in the first instance.
“People say it is a cliché to take it week by week but being a new coach at the club it is the only choice,” he continued. “I have to try and change things a little bit and make sure we are in a better position as a team and a club.
“If we play well; play like we did on Saturday then we will be in a good position. That is the challenge and we have to make sure we keep aiming up. Then we can string some wins together.”
Saints have named an unchanged 19-man squad for tomorrow’s Betfred Super League derby with Wigan Warriors.
Justin Holbrook has opted to select the same side that beat Hull FC 45-0 last Saturday.
Saints will choose their 17 from:
2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Ryan Morgan, 4. Mark Percival, 5. Adam Swift, 6. Theo Fages, 7. Matty Smith, 8. Alex Walmsley, 9. James Roby, 10. Kyle Amor, 12. Jon Wilkin, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 14. Luke Douglas, 16. Luke Thompson, 17. Tommy Lee, 18. Dominique Peyroux, 19. Greg Richards, 20. Morgan Knowles, 28. Regan Grace, 36. Zeb Taia.
Shaun Wane will choose his Wigan 17 from:
5. Joe Burgess, 6. George Williams, 7. Thomas Leuluai, 8. Frank-Paul Nuuausala, 9. Michael Mcilorum, 11. Joel Tomkins, 12. Liam Farrell, 13. Sean O’Loughlin, 16. Sam Powell, 17. Taulima Tautai, 19. Ryan Sutton, 20. Willie Isa, 21. Lewis Tierney, 23. Nick Gregson, 28. Jack Wells, 32. Liam Forsyth, 35. Liam Marshall, 36. Tom Davies, 37. Callum Field.
The game kicks off at 8pm and the referee is TBC.
You can read more of Justin’s interview in this week’s programme, which is available on matchnight and priced at £3.
Tickets for Thursday’s game remain on sale from the Ticket Office at the Totally Wicked Stadium, by calling 01744 455 052 and online here http://saints.retailsportssystems.com/matchtickets.html