JUSTIN Holbrook is preparing his side for his last game as Saints coach, the Star’s Mike Critchley caught up with him at the Grand Final media day at Old Trafford.

MC: How has the preparation gone so far?

JH: We had a good training session on Saturday night - because we didn’t have a game.

We have trained hard as we have done every other week this year and will crack on.

MC: Saints have been close the previous two years, how does it feel as a coach to finally get to Old Trafford and walk about the place?

JH: It is great. It is what we have set out for at the start of each year, but we haven’t played good enough to get here in the recent past. We are here this year and we have got a good shot at it.

MC: Did you have to rein the players in much after the semi-final?

JH: It was a great performance in the semi-final, but I did not have to rein it in. The players were aware that we have to do it again - and for the one that counts most.

MC: Ahead of the Wigan game, there was a lot of talk about the opposition, you almost have something similar now with Salford?

JH: There have been similarities - everybody spoke about how good Wigan were and I thought we handled that really well.

I have got no issue around the hype around Salford - it is great for our game, their first Grand Final they have been at and that is a credit to Watto.

I am not surprised though.

What has always hurt Salford has been if they had got injuries because they haven’t got the depth.

This year they have kept the same side on the paddock and Jackson Hastings has played in every game.

When they have got their best side out they are great and they have proven that this year.

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MC: Some of that Salford team is breaking up - is that an added emotion on their side as well as the bit on Saints’ side.

JH: I guess so. They are in a good spot.

They will have all the neutral fans on their side and everyone cheering them on but for me I know how well our side has played this year and how much it means to our town.

In our town there is one team and it is St Helens rugby league. It means a lot to us as well.

MC: Speaking to Wello earlier and he said there will be 17 quality individuals out there, but they will be working collectively for each other.

JH: I think that is the key. Every player in our side has that team first mentality and the way we have played all year - in a calming way have been in control of every game. It is a credit to them, but we have to do it one more time.

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MC: And it is not one of the traditional foe in the final, is that a good thing?

JH: I would not have cared either way. If it had been Wigan - they are our biggest rivals and I'd have thought bring it on.

For Salford it is a great story for rugby league and different in the sense that we have only played them twice.

We generally get to these games and have played the opposition four or five times.

This time around we have not played them since mid-May, nearly five months. They pushed us hard that day as they did earlier in the year at there place although we ended up with a good win.

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MC: In your first year here you had the big smash and grab one against Salford?

JH: Yes, three tries and winning drop goal in the last eight minutes.

That is what gave me the indication on Salford - they had Robert Lui and Todd Carney in the halves back then and were a good side.

But when they got a few injuries they fell away. But this year they haven't and so have been able to crack on.

We both know how each other are going to play it is now about going out there and executing on Saturday and whoever does that best will win.

MC: Any further clues to your bench for the final?

JH: It will be similar to the semi, but the last spot is between Aaron Smith, James Bentley and Joseph Paulo to pinch that. The rest of the side picks itself.

MC: Is James Roby fit then?

JH: He is fine so we will just play the selection of the bench by ear as this week goes on.