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Playoff team’s star player claims ‘realistic ambition is avoiding relegation’

Salford Red Devils were one of the most entertaining sides in Super League at times last year with their expansive play style and the ability to score plenty of points.

Those successes came under Paul Rowley, in his first season leading the side, and ultimately saw the Red Devils sneak into the playoffs which was a huge achievement.

Even more impressive was their trip to the John Smith’s Stadium where they shocked Huddersfield with a 28-0 win over the side that had finished third.

It wasn’t to be a return to the Grand Final for Salford though as St Helens beat them in the semi-finals but despite this great success one of their star players is still claiming that the goal for 2023 is avoiding relegation.

Ryan Brierley is the first choice full-back for Salford and speaking to the Sportsman Rugby League Youtube channel, he’s outlined the goals for 2023 and is urging caution on expectations.

“It’s a strange one because OI think last season we were tipped for relegation and in terms of money spent we’ve not spent any different than last year.

“It’s well-documented that we spend the least in Super League so I think the realistic ambition is always avoid relegation, that’s the first and foremost.”

Salford came close to relegation in 2021 as they placed 11th, hence why their playoff run in 2022 shocked so many, but with their Australian star Brodie Croft reminding many fans of the way Jackson Hastings lifted Salford’s level the fans and players themselves do hold higher ambitions, Brierley revealed.

“As a group of players we’re ambitious enough that we want to win something, we want to win a trophy so to find that balance of being realistic, and making sure we realise what the main goal is in avoiding relegation and after that it’s trying to build on last year.

“I think the run we went on last year was probably unheard of at times, we just had to keep winning every single game and to achieve that would be quite difficult again.

“I think our start of the season needs to be a lot better, we were pretty poor at the start of the season last year.”

Salford opened the season in 2022 with three wins in their opening 11 games but finished with nine wins from 12, with their final loss coming in the final round of the season and featuring a team of youngers, and they’ll be hoping to carry over that end of season form into 2023.

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