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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 February 2007, 19:05 GMT
Times are tough, admits Anderson
Daniel Anderson
Anderson admits he is facing a tough time at the moment
St Helens coach Daniel Anderson says injury problems and a poor start to the season have left him facing his most difficult time yet at Knowsley Road.

Last year's champions go into the World Club Challenge against Brisbane on the back of two losses in their last three games and without several key players.

"We left internationals out of the team for last year's two finals," he said.

"Now we're looking at taking them out of school to play in Super League. It's not a situation you want to be in."

In the end we probably haven't shown enough pride in our own performance

Daniel Anderson

Anderson said that some of his younger players may struggle in the current environment because it was something they were not used to.

"I'm not sure if some of our juniors have faced such adversity before," he said.

"Disappointed, quiet, frustrated dressing rooms are not the norm.

"There are players in our organisation who have a wealth of experience - they've had plenty of good times but they've faced some tough times too, so it's not just down to myself.

"The only way we can take steps forward as is as a team, not as individuals."

"It's a puzzle which has got many turns to it, you can't just solve it with one cure. It's a collection of contributing factors.

"We've had a frank chat about it, but in the end we probably haven't shown enough pride in our own performance."

Several key players, such as Keiron Cunningham and Paul Sculthorpe, are doubts for Friday's game against the Broncos.

And the length of their injury list means Jason Hooper is likely to play despite being booked in for surgery on Saturday morning.

He will undergo a shoulder reconstruction which will effectively keep him out for the rest of the season, up until the end of his contract, and Anderson admitted this was adding to their problems.

"Jason has a unique dislocation problem," he said.

"You can dislocate and 15 minutes later he can be next to you doing weights.

"We can't tell if it'll dislocate in the first minute or 80th minute. The gamble is that if he plays, we don't know when it will go, or if it will go at all.

"He's a wonderful example of a tough guy who puts his body on the line for his team-mates so I'm not bouncing around at the moment. We've lost a very good player."

St Helens v Brisbane Broncos - audio commentary is live on BBC Radio Live Sports Extra and this website on Friday 23 February at 1955 GMT. Highlights on BBC Two on Saturday 24 February at 1400 GMT.

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