Kids Have Bright Future

NATHAN Brown has praised the commitment and effort of the younger players in the side and says the club is in good hands.

During the Super League clash at London on Saturday Saints fielded four 18-year-olds and handed Luke Thompson a debut.

“Luke didn’t play like an 18-year-old,” Brown said. “He was physically up to the money. I wouldn’t say it was a surprise though; he’s a kid who has been spoken about for a while. Physically he looks ahead of his time and to see him go out there and do it against grown men made us sit back.

“When that comes from an 18-year-old it makes people sit up and say if he is doing it, why can’t I. Thommo deserved a shot and showed us he was well worth it. The young blokes are in a position where they have to play. Sometimes people think you are losing because of youth but it is more because of the positions we’ve had out. The young kids have played their parts at crucial stages of the game and their decision making in key areas will tidy up; that will come with experience.

“They aren’t just making up the numbers. It is standing out that they are going to be good players and that is a bonus of what we are going through at the moment. They are playing good footy and when the blokes come back there will be a good squad and picking a side will be hard.”

Saints head into Friday’s Widnes match on the back of four close defeats where an injury ravaged side has been within just one score of a win.

Confidence, though, is still high in the camp.

“I wouldn’t say confidence is down,” Brown added. “When you lose a number of close games everyone feels it would be nice to get a win. When you win some of your close ones where you sit on the ladder has a drastic effect. The key is the guys know where we are trying to get to.

“Because we have lost players in key positions, we’ve had to restructure the way we do things to suit certain personnel and that has taken a number of weeks.

“On Saturday we led 10-0 and then Adam Swift got taken off and that had an adverse effect on the team. We couldn’t swap him with a like for like because of the number of players not playing.

“We have a number of players out of position, which isn’t by coach choice or player choice, it is the nature of the squad and the Cap, and that caused us to move the team around a fair bit. It didn’t help, but we got ourselves in a position to win again which we have in the last three losses and that is frustrating for fans and players.”

Nathan says Nathan Ashe is likely to get another run out in the halves – a position his skillset is ideally matched to – and he could welcome back another couple of players.

But he ushered a word of caution: “We aren’t going to rush anyone. We are all desperate to win a game but we are desperate to get these players back and keep them back.

“Josh Perry is a real likely returnee. He should be just about fit but we have to make sure all the boxes are ticked.

“We don’t want to lose heading into a weekend off and then wait two weeks before we play again. Two points are important for our position in the Premiership.”

Tickets for tonight’s match are now on sale from the Ticket Office at Langtree Park or by calling 01744 455 052. You can also buy on the turnstiles on matchnight.

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