Wigan v St Helens: Nathan Brown philosophical ahead of derby

Saints coach planning for long term

Nathan Brown has played down the significance of St Helens' Super League derby at Wigan Warriors on Friday.

Brown will experience the rivalry as Saints' head coach for the first time.

"When you walk around the town, everyone says that as long as you beat Wigan, that means it's a good year," he told BBC North West Tonight.

"The emotion spills over into the game, the players get up for it and the hype is terrific, but you've got to take it for what it is. It's a two-point game."

The Australian added: "Paul Anderson [Brown's former assistant at Huddersfield, who is now coach of the Giants] first told me how great the derby is.

"He was involved in the Leeds-Bradford one when they were in their prime and he always said the Saints-Wigan one was the biggest of the two, having played in both of them.

"For me personally, the game's not about the coach or even a local rivalry. It's just a competition game at the end of the day.

"If you win, you get two points. You don't win a Challenge Cup final or a Grand Final. You win some bragging rights until you play the side the next time."

Wigan won three of the four fixtures between the sides in 2012 - games which also included a total of four red cards.

Three of the dismissals came as a result of

Wigan comfortably won at the Etihad Stadium, as well as and also at the quarter-final stage.

St Helens, then under the stewardship of Mike Rush, in the final match of the regular season, although they were helped by the early sending-off of Warriors hooker Michael McIlorum.

Saints, who are will go to the DW Stadium on Friday looking for a

And they have recovered from a slow start to the season without a number of key players because of injury.

The losses of James Roby, Paul Wellens, Josh Perry and Lance Hohaia at various stages have led Brown to blood a number of youngsters in the club's first eight matches.

"We've already used 28 players this year, which is more than anybody else in the competition, and we're a point off the top team," he said.

"Would we like to be playing a little better? Maybe. But are we happy with what we've achieved so far? We think we're going OK."