St Helens: Eamonn McManus backs underperforming squad

St Helens chairman Eamonn McManus has urged frustrated supporters to remain patient and backed Nathan Brown's team to end the season strongly.

Saints occupy the final play-off spot with seven matches to play.

A tame home defeat by Hull KR on Friday has prompted McManus to give his public backing to Brown and the squad in a statement on the club's website. 

"We fully understand the anger and frustrations of our supporters, who expect and deserve better," he said.

Brown's first year at Langtree Park has been a struggle, although he has not been helped by a series of injuries that have robbed him of key players such as James Roby and Jonny Lomax for extended periods.

We fully expect the current first-team squad to have a strong end to the season and we have full confidence in them fulfilling their collective talent, which is as good as any in Super League

St Helens chairman Eamonn McManus

Wakefield's win at Hull FC on Monday meant Saints only have a two-point advantage over the ninth-placed Wildcats, who have a game in hand.

McManus continued: "There has never been a more important time for all at and connected with the club, including our fans, to pull together.

"We have the quality of coaching staff and players to compete with and beat the best teams in Super League and to make an impact in the play-offs. It is still there to be done.

"Although our current poor set of results are justifiably uppermost in all our minds presently, it must not be ignored that we are building a new, talented and young squad.

"We have handed eight debuts to young players this season and all but Alex Walmsley have come from our youth system. There is no doubt that we are building a strong squad for the future and in the right manner, and we must not lose sight of that.

"That said, we fully expect the current first-team squad to have a strong end to the season and we have full confidence in them fulfilling their collective talent, which is as good as any in Super League."

Meanwhile, Warrington scrum-half Gareth O'Brien's loan at St Helens will continue on a week-to-week basis, having reached the end of his initial month-long stay at Langtree Park.