sport

Koukash pleased with Harris

Salford Red Devils owner Marwan Koukash has expressed his delight at the progress made by the club under the stewardship of Iestyn Harris.

The Red Devils opted for a change of head coach in April with then Wigan Warriors assistant Harris taking over from Brian Noble at the AJ Bell Stadium.

Salford were slow out of the blocks in 2014 despite a raft of off-season signings by Koukash as he tried to assemble a team capable of challenging for honours.

Harris' team have won four of their last six in Super League, only losing to Wigan and Leeds, and they remain in with a chance of a top-eight finish ahead of this weekend's clash against Wakefield.

Koukash has held his hand up and admitted he made mistakes along the way, however, he believes recent results and performances demonstrates there is a bright future at the Greater Manchester club.

"Iestyn is doing very well," Koukash told the Manchester Evening News.

"He joined us from a top set-up at Wigan and said straight away he needed five or six weeks to sort things out and to have the players buying into his ideas.

"In my view, Super League clubs need quality English coaches because they have a better understanding of both the players' mentality and the competition's culture.

"A few people were possibly somewhat surprised when I decided to bring in Iestyn but his hunger and determination instantly impressed me.

"He has turned things around for us in a relatively short period of time. For this, he is to be commended because things needed to change. We have more passion and this is so very important.

"I was disappointed with the way we started the season. I admit, I made mistakes and it is encouraging to think what we can achieve when the players have a full pre-season under Iestyn.

"I have been shown statistics and what we did in readiness for the season was only a third of what Wigan did. This makes so much of a difference.

"It is good to see us playing at a greater pace. The next thing we need to do is to greatly increase our physical presence on the field.

"There have been times when we have lacked a physical presence but this comes from more disciplined training. The players clearly believe in Iestyn's methods and can see what he is wanting to achieve."