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Salford 20:00 Catalans

Salford City Reds head coach Brian Noble excepts an improvement from his squad

Last Updated: 20/06/13 5:23pm

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Brian Noble: Joined strugglers Salford in April

Brian Noble: Joined strugglers Salford in April

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Salford head coach Brian Noble is hoping for an improvement from his players against St Helens after revealing that he has spoken to them to clarify their positions at the club.

The Reds have been linked with a host of top Super League players since the arrival of ambitious owner Marwan Koukash to the club earlier this year.

Noble criticised what he described as "a lack of commitment" from his side in their heavy home defeat to Wakefield last time out, but now believes the issue has been resolved.

"The players are probably fully aware now of where they stand or don't stand, which wasn't the case before I came," Noble said.

"I said I'd give everybody an opportunity and I think I've done that. I've been here seven weeks now and I think I've managed to make some assessments.

"I'm quite prepared to have my mind changed and there is still an opportunity for those who care to grasp it. However, everybody is aware of their future."

"I'm quite prepared to have my mind changed and there is still an opportunity for those who care to grasp it."
Brian Noble

Response

As few as seven players were thought to be guaranteed to stay at the club beyond the end of the season as Salford made space for the arrival of some higher-profile replacements.

However, former Great Britain coach Noble is optimistic of an improvement from his team now the issue has been addressed. That doesn't mean changes have not been made, though, with Australian pair Liam Foran and Vic Mauro axed from the Reds squad following the Wakefield hammering.

"There were plenty of people beside them who looked like they lacked commitment," Noble said. "We've shuffled the team around a little bit with a view to getting a bit of a response."

Youngster Niall Evalds is set to return to the first team set up, after breaking into the side briefly earlier in the season, and Noble is looking forward to seeing the teenager in action.

"Niall's a full-back who can play a bit of wing," Noble said. "He's quick. I really like him. His attitude is first-class so we need to give him an opportunity."

St Helens have lost second-rower Sia Soliola to a foot injury but welcome back long-term absentees Jonny Lomax and James Roby for the clash with the Reds at Barton.

"I know they've had a setback with Soliola this week but we're probably meeting a Saints side that is as strong as it's been for a while," Noble said. "Getting Roby and Lomax back makes a huge difference to them. It's a great challenge for us.

"You want to be playing the best teams you possibly can because it means that your own commitments and your own ethics are measured correctly."

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