Fax boss Marshall relishing Cup ‘distraction’

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Halifax coach Richard Marshall has labelled the Challenge Cup as a “welcome distraction” from the increasing pressures of the restructured Championship.

Fax open their Cup campaign at Championship One Barrow on Sunday (3.0), with Marshall - a member of Warrington’s coaching staff for their Wembley victories in 2009, 2010 and 2012 - keen to make the most of the competition.

“For me, it’s a welcome distraction rather than an unwelcome one,” said Marshall.

“It’s a competition that’s given me some great memories over the years, it’s a different kind of challenge and it motivates the players differently.

“Do we want to get out so we can have a couple of blank weekends and concentrate on the Championship? No way.

“The players want to do well; there are financial implications for them and for the club from a good run.

“It’s a wonderful competition and I think everyone is excited about playing on Sunday.”

Marshall’s side go into the game on the back of the 26-13 win over Dewsbury, although Marshall will have to make at least one change to the side that beat the Rams, with in-form loose forward Jacob Fairbank, on loan from Huddersfield, barred from playing by the Giants.

“Jacob can’t play, but there will probably be other changes as well,” said Marshall.

“We’re conscious that we’ve got a busy Easter coming up, with the games at London and Bradford and against Hunslet on Easter Monday, and we haven’t got the biggest squad.

“We don’t want to compromise our chances on Sunday, but we need to try and make sure we’ve got everyone in good form, which we probably haven’t got at the moment.

“We can’t change the half backs, and we’ll probably continue with James Saltonstall at full back, but we’ve got some players who need a game.

“Alex Brown could do with a run, Keith Holden has not had a real chance yet, and Chris Taylor has had a couple of weeks without a game.

“We’ll take a strong team to win the game though, because Barrow are a decent side; I watched them beat Whitehaven in pre season and they did it pretty convincingly.”