ROYCE Simmons has paid tribute to his team’s resolve and spirit as they prepare to face Huddersfield Giants this Saturday.
With several players missing through injury the Saints have risen to joint top of the Engage Super League and are continuing to blood youngsters.
Simmons told the St Helens Star: “We are still games because they are tough and keep responding. We can’t get to the stage where they feel sorry for themselves.
“With that in mind the last 20 minutes of the Sheffield game was a worry for me.
“If you play a side that you get a lot of points in front of, then you start to pick up bad habits and it can turn you into a form slump.
“It can lead to injuries too because you are not giving the opposition the respect.”
He continues: “We have used 15 players at one, six and seven. It means a huge number of combinations so we have not been able to advance and bring new things in. I watch games and think ‘we missed more than ten opportunities there’, if our combinations were together we would have scored another 15 tries this year.
“It does affect the team and I feel for Michael Shenton – a new bloke looking to make an impression – who has been playing with a new combination most weeks.”
There is hope on the horizon with the injury situation though.
Paul Wellens could return but Chris Flannery, Tony Puletua, Shaun Magennis, Nathan Ashe and Kyle Eastmond are all ranked as just possible.
Still on the sidelines are Leon Pryce, Gary Wheeler, Paul Clough, Carl Foster, Lee Gaskell, Jonny Lomax, Scott Moore and Andrew Dixon who took a hip injury in the win over Sheffield.
“I have never experienced anything as bad as this before,” Simmons continued. “I had all my medical staff in on Monday and we spoke for a couple of hours, the docs, physios and coaches.
“We looked at everything but we can’t put our fingers on anything in particular we can alter.
“All but three or four are contact injuries and breaks. If they were all hamstring, calf or quad injuries we could say ‘we are doing something wrong, let’s fix it up’, but they are not.
“In the next two weeks we hope Lomax will return followed by Gaskell the week after.
“None of those in the maybes list are long term.”