Richard Marshall will take charge of his first competitive game at the AJ Bell this Saturday lunchtime as Salford Red Devils face Championship Widnes Vikings in the Challenge Cup 3rd Round. 

Marshall believes that a win and progression into the next round is important against a lower league opposition and for the team’s confidence after a difficult start to their Super League campaign.

He said: “Yeah, we want to win this game, we want to win it well, we want to put into practice everything that we’ve been doing on the training field and execute a really resolute, strong game plan.

“We know that Widnes have got some threats and some key targets within their squad, they’ve got a lot of Super League quality when you look at the squad they’ve got, over half the squad they’ve got have played in and around the Super League.

“So they’ll be a wily old fox I reckon, they’ll be good and we need to be a lot better, forget about Widnes, whoever we’re playing this weekend, we need to improve on our last two performances and that will be the goal this week.”

Salford reached the final of the competition last season, losing to Leeds by the narrowest of margins but Marshall isn’t interested in setting his sights on going one better this year and is very much taking it one game at a time.

“That’s not on the forefront of my mind at the moment, it’s just making sure that we perform really well, we do the things we said we’re going to do all week and if you do that, you usually get what you deserve and that will be in the next round hopefully.

“Then anything can happen from there, as we know Salford had a really good run last year and I thought we’re very unlucky not to win the Challenge Cup.

“So we’ve been around finals as a team and yes we want to get there again.”

Whilst Marshall does see this as an opportunity to rotate, he doesn’t want to change things too much and risk being on the end of a cup upset.

He said: “There will be some players who need to play a game and need to improve on the game, the fitness, and everything else that goes with that.

“At the same time, there’s some players who I haven’t seen play and we need to look at them as well, so there will probably be a bit of a mixture of both, lets keep our fingers crossed that we’ve got the balance right this weekend.”

Marshall didn’t rule out new signing Matt Castello being involved, although he admitted that there is a lot of competition for places in his position.

He said: “He’s got an opportunity, there’s a chance there if he comes through this week but we’ve got some seriously good outside backs but hopefully he may get an opportunity this week, we’ll see.”

A win for Salford may be expected but after the torrid start to their season, it could be exactly the type of game they need to regain some confidence ahead of a return to Super League action next weekend.

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