Keiron Cunningham: Team changes 'must improve St Helens'

Keiron Cunningham
Keiron Cunningham's side reached the semi-finals in 2015, but were knocked out at their first attempt this term

St Helens will not be panicked into team changes despite last weekend's Challenge Cup exit by Hull FC, says head coach Keiron Cunningham.

Saints were knocked out by the Airlie Birds on home turf, ending cup hopes at the first stage, having come into the game with back-to-back league wins.

Salford provide the opposition for the Red Vee back in Super League on Friday.

"If you're going to strive for a change then you have to keep going upwards," Cunningham told BBC Radio Merseyside.

"We have to improve, so if the change is going to take you backwards then you'd be foolish to make that regardless of emotion."

Injuries, much like the rest of Super League, continue to affect St Helens with first-choice wingers Adam Swift and Tommy Makinson both absent in recent games.

Young players such as Morgan Knowles, Greg Richards, Matty Dawson and Jack Ashworth have stood up for Saints but Cunningham says they have had to learn on the job, and is looking forward to the nine-day turnaround his side will enjoy in the lead up to Magic Weekend.

"We're quite a young team regardless of what fans or pundits say," Cunningham said.

"They need educating, that's what we've got to they to do and keep improving them as players.

"It's difficult because we can't really get on the field [to train], recovery is the biggest key, Easter is still biting so we can't really implement things."

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