Feb 2 2013
Nathan Brown is hoping his tinkering will bring back the trophy-winning days to St Helens.
Although it is five years since Saints last collected silverware, they have never been far away in that time and the new coach has deliberately kept changes to a minimum. The signing of Hull pair Jordan Turner and Willie Manu are straight replacements for Michael Shenton and Chris Flannery and Brown is hoping a few "slight adjustments" can make all the difference.
Brown's old club Huddersfield visit Langtree Park on saturday night, and the coach said: "There is always an air of excitement at this time of year. Everyone's optimistic, everyone's had a reasonable pre-season, no-one's lost. We're reasonably optimistic. We'd like to think we've made some improvements and slight adjustments to the way we do things."
He added: "The club traditionally does well - hopefully we can hop into the positions the club has been in those last three or four years but in those big games just do a little better."
Intriguingly, Brown will go up against his former assistant Paul Anderson - the man he recommended as his successor at the John Smith's Stadium.
Anderson, a former Bradford and Great Britain prop who ended his playing career at St Helens, was unable to halt the Giants' slide after taking over from Brown for the last eight matches of last term.
But he has had a full off season to reshape the squad and introduce his own ideas and he is confident he can build on the progress made under Brown.
"We are a different animal now," Anderson said. "We have got a lot of different personnel in. We have a different mentality.
"I don't want to compare last year with this year. We've got a whole new structure in place with regards to staff - medical staff, playing staff, all the way along the line there is a hell of a lot of change."