‘Massive challenge’: Salford City Reds’ Martin Gleeson prepares for tough homecoming at Wigan Warriors

By Mark Shales

Salford City Reds’ star centre Martin Gleeson is relishing the trip to his former employers when his side face Super League-leaders Wigan Warriors on Friday night.

The 32-year-old spent three years at his hometown club, scoring twice in the 2010 Grand Final as the Warriors saw off rivals St Helens at Old Trafford.

But with the Reds facing Warrington Wolves in the Cup a week later, another of Gleeson’s old clubs, the former England captain admits his side are in for a tough fortnight.  

“They’re two really big games,” he told MM.

“Wigan are red-hot at the moment. They’re playing in a way that makes it really difficult to defend against and really difficult to break down their defence.

“It’s going to be a massive challenge, but one I’m really looking forward to.

“Then the week after in the Cup it’s Warrington, the current holders, so it’s going to be tough, but then again they’ll all tough games in the Cup.

“We’ve just got to make sure we’re improving each week under Brian’s leadership and if we can do that who knows what can happen.”

Salford make the trip on the back on two successive victories, following last week’s controversial win at home to fellow-strugglers Castleford Tigers.

Five goals from full-back Marc Syneyd helped secure a 34-30 scoreline but the Reds were charged by the RFL yesterday, for fielding 14 men for a brief spell near the end.

St Helens loanee Lee Gaskell – who scored in Salford’s Good Friday victory over then title-toppers Huddersfield Giants – is set to return from a leg injury.

Gleeson signed a 12-month contract extension last week, committing himself to the Reds until at least 2015, and insists the future at Salford is something to get excited about.

“I’m really happy here,” he added.

“I spoke to both Brian and the owner [Dr Marwan Koukash] about where they want this club to be over the next few years and I really want to be part of that.

“We’ve been training really well since Brian came in and last weekend we were able to get the things right against Castleford that we’d been practising.

“There was still a lot we’ve had to work on this week but our scramble defence at the end was really good because they had us on our line.”

Image courtesy of SuperLeagueTV, via YouTube, with thanks

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