MATTY Dawson believes Leigh’s Magic Weekend debut on Sunday (3.15pm) can prove a springboard for a successful rest of season campaign.
And the Centurions winger insists it’s “not all doom and gloom” despite eight successive Super League and Challenge Cup defeats.
Third placed Salford provide Leigh’s opposition in the penultimate fixture of the two-day, six game jamboree at Newcastle’s St James’ Park home.
Dawson was a try scorer for St Helens against Huddersfield at last year’s event on Tyneside but finished on the losing side.
He also touched down for Saints in the 2014 Magic edition against Warrington at the Etihad Stadium but lost again.
“I may not have won one yet but the experience of the event is all good,” he confirmed.
“You don’t get chance to play in front of 30,000 people too often so you have to make the most of it.
“This is part of what being in Super League is all about. Last year some of the boys played in the Summer Bash at Blackpool. Now we are part of Magic Weekend at St James’ Park.
“Hopefully, this will spur us on for the rest of the season to stay in Super League.
“You have got to take positives. There is no point going into your shell and thinking it’s all doom and gloom.
“That’s not going to get results. We have got stay happy and positive about what we are doing. Or it is never going to work.”
Centurions return to action after an enforced weekend break caused by their cup exit to Hull KR.
Head coach Neil Jukes is hopeful skipper Micky Higham will be available for selection after recent hamstring issues. However, Jamie Acton is suspended while long term absentees, Cory Paterson and Willie Tonga, are still missing.
“There is never a good time to have a weekend off,” adds Dawson.
“But it’s given us extra time to get down to some nitty gritty things at training to correct what we are not doing right in games.
“A few boys who picked up knocks have had an easier week than others and those who needed to get topped up have been topped up. It’s probably done us some good.”
Despite on-going fans’ unrest about a possible change of name or location for the club, Salford are one of the competition’s form teams.
They have won nine of their last 10 matches including the scalps of champions Wigan, leaders Castleford and Challenge Cup winners, Hull FC. They also defeated Leigh 12-6 at the AJ Bell Stadium on Good Friday.
“If you look at their squad I am not surprised by how well they are doing,” insists Dawson.
“It has taken them a while to gel but now they have got a formula that is working for them.
“If you listen to the coach and players speaking after games they mention a lot about how hard they are working.
“We need to do get back to working hard for each other and the results will come.”
St Helens centre Matty Fleming has joined Leigh on a month’s loan and could make his debut against Salford. Fleming , 21, has scored seven tries in 19 first team appearances for Saints Jukes said: “It is important to us that he is coming at a busy period and will thicken up the squad, especially at centre.”