McManus urges Saints to stick together
St Helens chairman Eamonn McManus has issued a rallying call as his club seek to rescue their worst-ever Super League campaign.
The five-times champions have never finished below fifth in the table since the advent of Super League in 1996 but last Friday's 24-14 home defeat by Hull KR leaves them clinging to eighth place with seven rounds left of the regular season.
Coach Nathan Brown described that performance as the worst since he arrived at the club at the start of the year and McManus insists there is still time for the former Huddersfield Giants boss to turn around their fortunes.
"There is no doubt that the performance against Hull KR last Friday was nowhere near good enough from a club of the stature of St Helens," he said.
"There has been a lot of soul-searching since the defeat and we fully understand the anger and frustrations of our supporters who rightfully expect and deserve better given the strength of our squad.
"Nathan Brown, the coaching staff and the players are more than capable of producing a strong end to the 2013 Super League campaign.
"There has never been a more important time for all at and connected with the club, including our fans, to pull together.
"We have the quality of coaching staff and players to compete with and beat the best teams in Super League and to make an impact in the season-end play offs. It is still there to be done."
Brown has used 33 players so far and given 12 players their debut after being badly hit by injury but Saints now have most of their leading players available and McManus admits they are running out of excuses.
"There is no doubt that we are building a strong squad for the future and in the right manner and we must not lose sight of that," McManus added.
"That said, we fully expect the current first team squad to have a strong end to the season and we have full confidence in them fulfilling their collective talent, which is as good as any in the Super League.
"There is no room left for sub-par performances either from the team or from individual players.
"We may well have had some bad luck this season but we must also face up to the fact that some of our performances have been well below rightful expectations. The rest of the season gives us the opportunity to correct that."
Meanwhile, Saints have been given permission by Warrington Wolves to keep scrum-half Gareth O'Brien on a week-to-week basis.
The 22-year-old has played in their last four matches after joining St Helens on loan.