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McGuire: "Rhinos aren't in crisis"

Danny McGuire says his side aren't in crisis despite their poor start Credit: Press Association

Leeds captain Danny McGuire insists there is no crisis at Headingley as the Super League champions look to kick-start their dreadful season at Salford on Saturday evening.

The Red Devils have won just one of 36 previous Super League meetings with the Rhinos and have not enjoyed a home victory of any kind since a 21-12 Regal Trophy success at The Willows in November 1993.

But after winning only two of nine matches so far in their title defence and coming off back-to-back defeats at the hands of two of last year's bottom-four teams, Brian McDermott's men can take nothing for granted.

Leeds have won just twice this season Credit: Press Association

Even the eagerly-awaited return of McGuire, who damaged knee ligaments in the opening game of the season, could do little to stop the rot as the Rhinos suffered a 30-10 home defeat by Hull KR in their latest match last Friday.

"It wasn't the way I imagined it going," said McGuire, who inherited the captaincy in the winter from Kevin Sinfield. "When Mac told me I was going to be captain, I obviously didn't think I was going to be injured 25 minutes into the first game.

That's our sport. We have plenty of downs and plenty of ups. I don't want to make any excuses.

There are probably no easy answers. We need to fix it pretty quick really because, with the structure of the competition, you can't afford to be letting teams above you get too far in front.

I don't think it's a crisis. It's a really tough period that we're in. We're low on confidence, you can definitely see that within the squad.

– Danny McGuire

Huddersfield coach Paul Anderson says he is being forced to re-assess his team's goals after winning only one of their opening nine matches but McGuire believes it is still too early to write the champions off.

"To be honest, I haven't looked at the table," he said. "I knew if Huddersfield had have won, that would have put us bottom.

"I'll give you the old boring answer, we'll prepare well for this game and then focus on the week after that.

Brian McDermott is under pressure to turn around his side's fortunes Credit: Press Association

McGuire accepts his fragile team face another difficult test against Salford, who have a chance to strengthen their hold on a top-eight spot.

"Salford are a good team," he said. "I've seen them a few times on the telly this year. They throw the ball about really well and they look like they've got a more together squad now than they've had for the last few years.

"They've always had a lot of potential but now they look like a team playing well and working hard for each other.

"It's another tough challenge but that's the competition this year, teams are probably more evenly matched across the board than they have been for a while."