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Sunday, 20 October, 2002, 13:36 GMT 14:36 UK
Millward wants respect not awards
Ian Millward celebrates Grand Final success with Barry Ward (left) and Chris Joynt (right)
Millward (centre) is not obsessed with honours

St Helens coach Ian Millward insists personal accolades are not high on his agenda.

The Australian failed to make the shortlist for Super League coach of the year despite leading Saints to the Grand Final, the Challenge Cup final and the Minor Premiership.


We won't do a lot of preparation because the players need to enjoy these occasions
Millward on the game against New Zealand

Instead, Widnes' Neil Kelly, Bradford's Brian Noble and Wigan's Stuart Raper fought it out for the award, with Kelly emerging triumphant.

But Millward, who also steered Lancashire to victory against Yorkshire in the Origin Series, says he is more concerned about what his players think of him than any individual recognition.

"I am held in high regard in some circles, so it doesn't worry me," said the former Leigh coach.

"All I am worried about is earning the respect of the players here."

Millward will enhance his reputation even further if he can guide his side to a win over New Zealand on Friday and then success in the World Club Challenge.

Victory over the Kiwis could be difficult however, with an injury cloud hanging over a number of Saints players.

Paul Wellens is set to miss the Test series against New Zealand
Wellens has suffered a suspected fractured cheekbone
Paul Wellens is almost certainly sidelined after suffering a suspected fractured cheekbone in the Grand Final win, while Paul Sculthorpe is less than fully fit.

The 2001 and 2002 Man of Steel played at Old Trafford with a damaged a thigh muscle and could be rested so he is 100% ready for the first Test on 9 November.

Millward has already hinted his players might not be fully focused for the high-profile game against the tourists.

As he basked in the glory of his side's 19-18 win over Bradford, he revealed: "We won't do a lot of preparation because the players need to enjoy these occasions."


Bulls 18-19 Saints

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