Watson buoyed by Eights experience
Regardless of how much further Salford Red Devils progress in the Super 8s, head coach Ian Watson says his players will benefit from the experience.
Following a narrow victory in last year's Million Pound Game, the Red Devils have enjoyed a successful campaign in 2017.
This experience of playing the top teams at this level of a competition is very intense and it will make them better players going forward.Ian Watson
They have struggled for form in recent weeks, and face an uphill struggle to secure a finishing spot in the top four, but Watson believes his players will benefit from having competed in the against the top teams in Super League, instead of battling for survival.
"This experience of playing the top teams at this level of a competition is very intense and it will make them better players going forward. Obviously, it's tough for us at the moment but the young guys in the team are getting their chance," said Watson.
"They are improving every week and next year the squad will be a lot stronger for it. Look at Wakefield, for example, they struggled in the Super 8s last season but have benefited from it this season and are real top four contenders."
Salford return to Super League action on Friday, when they travel to face Wigan Warriors on Friday evening.
"The big thing is this year and what we've still got left to play for," added Watson.
"We've got a chance of reaching another semi-final with a top four finish and then there's always the chance of Old Trafford and the Grand Final if we get in that top four."
Salford are 10/3 to defeat Wigan on Friday, while the Warriors are priced at 2/9 to win.
View all Rugby League betting