Hansen: We need to kick bad habits

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2nd May 2014

Experienced forward Harrison Hansen says his Salford Red Devils team-mates need to get rid of their bad habits if they are to emerge from their early-season slump.

The Red Devils take on Catalan Dragons in Perpignan on Saturday looking to end a three-match losing run that has already put new coach Iestyn Harris under pressure just a month into the job.

Harris enjoyed a fine 38-24 win at Bradford Bulls in his first match after succeeding Brian Noble but that euphoria disappeared after back-to-back First Utility Super League defeats over Easter left them well outside the top eight and their misery was compounded by their knockout from the Tetley's Challenge Cup last Sunday.

Harris took his squad to the south of France on Thursday to prepare for their latest challenge and Hansen, one of Salford's high-profile recruits from Wigan Warriors, believes the trip can do them the world of good.

"I'm looking forward to getting some good weather and the chance to walk on the beach but the real test is the match," Hansen said.

"It's been a tough period. Since Iestyn came in, he's tried to implement a few things and it's really about kicking out the bad habits.

"It's not going to be a quick fix and people have just got to be patient. The way we are trying to play, it's going to take a good six weeks to see it turn around.

"The things that we were doing in training probably weren't up to scratch and the bad habits have been creeping in game by game but, once we get them out of our games, we'll be doing some good stuff. It's gradually coming.

"Obviously I had Iestyn at Wigan and I knew what he would bring to the squad and the rest of the players are getting used to that.

"He's been great. He's brought some new ideas and the intensity in training has lifted a level. Once we get used to training at that intensity, we will look to replicate it in games."

Like Salford, the Dragons have been guilty of inconsistent performances this year and they, too, went out of the Cup last Sunday, but they have won their last four games at Stade Gilbert Brutus, where they are notoriously difficult to beat.

"Catalan have probably had a similar start to us," Hansen added. "They've been a bit of up and down but it's always tough every time I've gone over to France.

"They don't tend to play all that well away but, with the crowd behind them, they really get some momentum going.

"For us, the loss on the weekend hurt but I think there's going to be a massive reaction on Saturday."