Salford Red Devils head coach Ian Watson identified his side being devastated at a Coral Challenge Cup Final defeat, as a sign of their development.
The Red Devils lost out by the narrowest of margins on their first Wembley appearance since 1969.
Watson said: “It shows the club and the team are moving in the right place from where we have been and they’re competing in these big games now.
“With everything that’s happened, to come here and end up being in a 17-16 result and players and staff being absolutely devastated that we’ve not been able to win, shows a sign of how far we’ve come as a group and as a team over the last few years.”
🗣️ "A sign of how far we've come"
Ian Watson stressed the need to keep building, following @TheChallengeCup final!
— Salford Red Devils (@SalfordDevils) October 17, 2020
Despite taking the lead in the second forty, Luke Gale’s drop-goal five minutes from time shattered Salford’s hopes of bringing the silverware home.
“It’ll sting. It’s already stinging,” Watson added.
“We’ve got some players who are right at the back end of their career now, and you don’t know if you’re going to be here or whether you could get here again.
“We’ve just got to move forward now, focus on the rest of the season and finish the season well.”
The Salford boss believes a little bit more composure and experience would have won his side the game.
Watson added: “I thought we opened them up a hell of a lot in attack. We just weren’t composed enough with the final pass.
“We were trying to find kicks to score tries off, rather than just being a little bit patient and turning them over on their try line.
“We just weren’t smart enough at them times to capitalise and put Leeds on the end of some aggressive defence.”