Long determined to restore belief

19 May 2017 09:59:21 EST

St Helens interim boss Sean Long says that the team's poor run of form has affected their confidence ahead of their Magic Weekend clash with Hull FC.

Saints take on Lee Radford's side as one of Saturday's three games at St James' Park, home of Newcastle United.

It comes a week after the side were dumped out of the Challenge Cup, humbled 53-10 by Castleford Tigers.

We just need a few good wins because confidence breeds confidence.

Sean Long

Now, back in Super League action, Saints are in the top eight, but have lost seven of their 13 games so far in what has been a disappointing campaign.

The poor set of results prompted the club to take action with Keiron Cunningham leaving last month and Justin Holbrook coming in to take over as head coach.

The Sydney Roosters assistant boss is yet to arrive in the UK and until then, Long together with Derek Traynor and Jamahl Lolesi remains in temporary charge.

Saints are 13/8 to win on Saturday with Hull FC 1/2.

Speaking ahead of the Hull FC game, Long said the Castleford defeat was the worst performance of the season and it was essential to get the players confidence restored.

He said: "We are rattled, we were in a downward spiral because things are not going great and it becomes a massive vicious circle. We have got to believe in ourselves a bit more.

"We turned up for training for skill drills and made it a bit more competitive and the boys enjoyed it.

"We just need a few good wins because confidence breeds confidence. You start getting belief and winning games."

Hull FC, in contrast to the Saints, are having another good season and they could briefly return to the top of the table with a win on Saturday.

Castleford, currently top and a point ahead of Hull, don't play until Sunday when they take on the Leeds Rhinos.

The Magic Weekend begins with Widnes taking on Wakefield and concludes with the Castleford game on Sunday evening.

The Tigers are 1212/1 to win this season's Challenge Cup with holders Hull FC priced at 11/10.

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