JUSTIN Holbrook cut a positive and confident figure as he spoke at the pre-Challenge Cup press conference, saying his players are focused on delivering a performance that counts and bringing silverware back to the town.

The Saints coach is acutely aware of the club’s 11 year wait for the famous trophy and of the excitement that is building in the town ahead of the Wembley showpiece.

Speaking on Monday, he said the squad was close to full strength and preparations are going well ahead of the departure to London on Thursday.

Holbrook told the Star: “We want to make it count this year. We have a great playing group and have a great opportunity to make it count, that’s what we are focused on.

“We’re happy with the way we’ve been playing.”

He expects counterpart Steve Price to build Warrington up for the occasion and is taking no notice of their rival’s slump in league form.

Holbrook added: “Warrington’s form has been up and down but I don’t think it will affect them.

"Pricey likes that approach and their last big performance was against Hull in the semi-final, which was a great game. They’ve rested players over the last few weeks and have been preparing for this.

"We understand how tough a game it is and what we need to do.”

Warrington have a number of injury doubts. Holbrook says he is expecting Josh Charnley and Jack Hughes to be fit and that Saints will prepare for a Wire side that is with or without the talismanic Blake Austin.

Meanwhile, Holbrook, who reflected on memories of waking in the night as a youngster to watch Wembley finals on the television in Australia, says there is no need to detach himself or the players from the cup fever that is building across St Helens.

Instead they are embracing it, and he says people’s passion for the game is what he loves about the place.

He added: “I’m sensing the excitement. Within a week of landing over here the supporters, especially the elderly people, were saying you have got to get us back to Wembley.

“We missed out last year but it’s great that we have the opportunity (but) now we want to win.

"It’s great for the town to be excited.

"I want people to be like that.

"People say to me do I get tired of because people want to talk about rugby here, but I say know that is the reason I love it. I like that responsibility.

“If we play well and win the trophy then it will be tremendous for everyone in the town.”