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Thursday 22nd May 20:00 Round: 14
Previous Super League Meetings
24 - 18
45 - 4
4 - 25
46 - 6
16 - 34
Harrison Hansen insists he has no regrets over his decision to leave Wigan Warriors as he prepares to face the reigning First Utility Super League champions for the first time.
The 28-year-old back-row forward spent nine seasons with the Warriors and was a key member of their double-winning team in 2013 but he sacrificed a testimonial in order to play for his home-town team Salford Red Devils.
The Samoa international was among a host of marquee signings for Marwan Koukash's rebuilt Red Devils team but their hopes of a top-six finish look to be floundering after collecting just a point from their last five matches.
However, Hansen insists that, with the season only reaching the halfway point this weekend, there is still time to turn around the club's fortunes.
He knows there would be no better way to kick-start their campaign than with a win over the champions at the AJ Bell Stadium on Thursday night - and he is not the only Wigan old boy with a point to prove.
Gareth Hock and Martin Gleeson both left the Warriors under a cloud while hooker Logan Tomkins is on a season-long loan from the DW Stadium and is eligible to face his parent club.
"I can't wait," Hansen said. "It's the one game that I've been looking forward to this year, especially at home.
"Obviously, we've got a few Wigan old boys and it will be great to play against them and hopefully bash a few.
"It was tough to leave, considering the amount of time I spent there and the friends I made, but it was the right one for me and I've no regrets.
"I said I felt like I needed a new challenge and this is a challenge. There's no regrets, I'm enjoying it here. Obviously things are not going our way but things will change. We've got the right people in, we've got the right coach, it's just taking time."
Thursday's game pits Wigan coach Shaun Wane against his former right-hand man Iestyn Harris, who was at his side when they won both the Tetley's Challenge Cup and Grand Final in 2013 but left seven weeks ago to succeed Brian Noble in the Salford hot seat.
Harris got off to a perfect start with a victory at Bradford Bulls in his first game in charge but they have failed to win any of their subsequent six league and cup matches and are currently lying in 11th place.
Hansen insists the team are making progress under their new coach and believes it is only a matter of time before that is reflected in the results.
"We are our own worst enemies," Hansen said. "We just give away too much easy ball and let teams back into games.
"If we keep hold of the ball and build a bit of pressure, teams will crack because we've got enough talent in our squad to score the tries.
"It's the little things we've got to get out of our game. There's nothing drastic. Iestyn and the coaches are doing a great job, it's just individual errors and going away from our game plan.
"It is slowly getting there. From where we were five or six weeks ago, there is a massive difference but this will be the test against Wigan.
"We can't give away sloppy possession to a team like Wigan. As soon as you give them ball, they're capable of scoring 50-plus points, they're that good. We're working hard and, as long as we control the ball and stay in the grind, we've a good chance against Wigan."
Salford coach Harris is set to use either Stuart Howarth or Tommy Lee as the Red Devils' fourth scrum-half of the season after Jake Mullaney joined their injury list. Second rower Andrew Dixon was due to be back in contention after sitting out the last eight matches but suffered an injury in training.
Wigan are without stand-off Blake Green, full-back Matty Bowen and second rower John Bateman, who join six other regulars on the injury list, so coach Wane drafts in youngsters Ben Austin and Connor Farrell, who have yet to make their Super League debuts, and Greg Burke.
For information on tickets for this game, click here.
19 Man Squad
Clean Breaks: 9