Sale Sharks must transform home stadium into ‘fortress’ to ensure league success, says winger Mark Cueto

By Tim Hyde

Winger Mark Cueto believes Sale Sharks must turn the home ground into ‘a fortress’ in order to achieve the success they are so hungry for.

The Sharks need to be quick out the blocks in order to climb the Aviva Premiership table and will rely on veterans such Cueto to do so.

As the record try scorer in the league, Cueto is placing his hopes on securing a spot in the top six, which will qualify Sharks for the prestigious European competition – the Heineken Cup.

“You don’t want to look too far ahead, but we’re a big enough team to be in the Heineken cup next season and we have a good enough squad to make that happen,” Cueto said.

“At the backend of last season every game was a cup final. The pressure that we put on ourselves produced the goods in the end and that is the mentality that we need at the start of the season.”

To elevate themselves to loftier heights Sharks will need to regain their devastating home form from the end of last season where they were almost unbeatable at the Salford Stadium.

The 33-year-old said: “Everyone says the same things about winning your home games, but they say it because it’s true. You want to turn your home stadium into a fortress and you want to pick up wins at home.

“At the turn of the year we did turn it into a bit of a fortress and we won nearly every game we played at home towards the end of the season.

“If we can keep doing that this time around then it will give us confidence when we play away games.”

Sale did appear in Europe’s premier competition last season but were well of the pace to regain European qualification securing a 10th placed finish.

Sale have been presented a fantastic opportunity to gather momentum at the start of the season hosting two games at Salford Stadium.

Cueto said: “We’ve got two home games out of three at the start of the season and hopefully if we can pick up where we left off from the end of last year and get some good results it will be massive for us.

“The start of the season is everything for us this year. You don’t really pick any game as winnable, that’s why the Premiership is one of the toughest leagues in the world so there are no easy matches.”

The club, founded in 1861 and one of the oldest in English rugby, has been subject to success in recent years winning two European Challenge Cups as well as clinching the Aviva Premiership title in 2006.

Image courtesy of Premiership Rugby, via YouTube, with thanks.

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