Featherstone Rovers boss Sean Long rubbishes pressure talk as he embraces favourites tag

Sean Long insists there is no chance of him feeling the heat in Featherstone Rovers' quest for promotion.

Rovers begin their campaign at Championship new boys Keighley Cougars on Monday night in Long's first game as a head coach.

The former Great Britain star is aiming to succeed where a string of seasoned coaches have failed, most recently Brian McDermott following a shock play-off defeat to Batley Bulldogs.

"Pressure doesn't bother me at all," said Long.

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"I'm pretty relaxed as a coach and was always relaxed as a player. I don't feel any pressure.

"It's the best day of the week. The lads like training and I like being on the field with the boys – but the best day of the week is game day.

"You want to go out there and perform in front of a crowd. We've had a few friendlies and the lads are chomping at the bit now.”

Featherstone are being billed as the favourites to win the Grand Final in October, with Toulouse Olympique expected to be their nearest rivals following their relegation from Super League.

Sean Long leads Featherstone Rovers into the new season. (Photo: Rob Hare)Sean Long leads Featherstone Rovers into the new season. (Photo: Rob Hare)
Sean Long leads Featherstone Rovers into the new season. (Photo: Rob Hare)
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Long is unperturbed about the tag at the start of a gruelling marathon.

"It doesn't bother me," he added.

"I actually think the teams in the Champ have all improved. You look at Keighley, Halifax, Sheffield, Widnes, Barrow – and I've probably missed a few out.

"The quality of the Champ this year is very, very high. If you have an off day, you're going to get caught out.

"We've got to train hard and turn up with the right mindset each week. It's a tough league."

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