Gareth Hock says the Salford Red Devils squad are working hard to turn around their form ahead of the visit of Widnes Vikings to the AJ Bell Stadium in the Tetley’s Challenge Cup fifth round on Sunday (3.00pm).
Hock is optimistic about the effect hard work can have on the Salford squad, who are set to play their first Challenge Cup tie under new coach Iestyn Harris.
“We have had a few bad losses of late but we’re working very hard, especially on our defence,” said Hock. “We’ve got the players and it is just about gelling together as a team. It will come.”
The forward is excited about the prospect of playing once again in the Challenge Cup, a competition he has enjoyed previously. Hock reached the final with Wigan Warriors in 2004 and believes getting there this year with Salford is a realistic ambition.
“We’ve got the potential to go all the way, certainly, but we know we have to improve,” said Hock. “It’s a massive competition, the Challenge Cup, and being in the final before has given me a taste for it.
“I’d love to reach the final again, especially with Salford where we have a great bunch of lads. We’re really working hard and we’ll knuckle down.”
“It will definitely be a difficult game,” said Hock, who spent time on loan at Widnes in 2013. “I was there last year and it’s a good club with a great set of lads and good coaching staff.
“They’ve started off really well in the league, they’ve got Kev Brown who is a player where if he plays well the whole team usually plays well too. We’ll have to try and shut him down, but it will be a good game.”
Hock is enjoying his time working under new coach Harris, as the former Wales international looks to guide his side into the quarter-finals of Rugby League’s oldest and most prestigious competition.
“He’s very good,” said Hock. “I worked with him at Wigan before and he is a good bloke. He has come and changed a few things, like making training a lot more intense.
“It will be good for us, everyone knows you have a job to do and you can’t slack off. And if you’re taking any shortcuts he’ll let you know about it.”
Tickets for the Salford Red Devils v Widnes Vikings Tetley’s Challenge Cup fifth round tie at the AJ Bell Stadium on Sunday April 27 (3.00pm) can be purchased from as little as £18 for adults, £12 for concessions and £5 for juniors.
Tickets for the 2014 Tetley’s Challenge Cup final at Wembley Stadium on Saturday August 23 cost from as little as £22 and can be purchased by calling the 24-hour Ticket Hotline on 0844 856 113 or by visiting www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk.