LEIGH’S head coach Neil Jukes has received the ultimate vote of confidence before Saturday’s winner takes all Super League survival battle against Catalans Dragons.

Owner Derek Beaumont has confirmed Jukes will remain in post for next year even if Centurions lose the dreaded Million Pounds game at Leigh Sports Village (kick-off 3pm).

Beaumont has also handed Keiron Cunningham a three-year deal as the club’s Head of Rugby.

“I am not going to sack Neil if we lose the game and he knows that,” said Beaumont.

“And Keiron comes in irrespective of what happens.

“Last year we would have given our right arm to play in the Million Pounds game to get a place in Super League.

“While the group set themselves higher aims, I am a realist and I always thought it could end up this way.

“I have probably mentioned it too many times throughout the year and sometimes you get what you ask for.”

Beaumont admits the current structure isn’t ideal and revealed: “When we beat Catalans over there we had agents offering some of their players because panic starts setting in.

“I am aware some of my players have been offered to other clubs.

“ What’s very clear is the structure won’t be this going forward.

“I feel sorry – if that’s the right word – for Catalans to be in a position where they are potentially 80 minutes away from being relegated when they finished 10th in a 12 team competition.

“It just seems madness but it could actually be the case.”

On his vote of confidence Jukes said: ‘I am sure some people are saying different people about me.

“I didn’t read a lot of the social media when we got promoted and no one gave us a chance.

“And I certainly won’t be reading it now.

“Have I made some wrong decisions throughout the year?

“Probably but probably so too has every coach along the way.

“I have learned some good and harsh lessons which I and this club will be better for.”

On the biggest game of his career Jukes added: “I said to the players, it’s like building into a final no one wants to be in.

“When you get into those finals there is a trophy to be won and the loser is disappointed.

“But the loser this week suffers more than just not picking up a medal.”

Centurions have won one and lost two of their three previous meetings against the French side this season.

For the fourth clash, Leigh expect to be without centre Samisoni Langi with ankle trouble and full-back Mitch Brown is doubtful with a foot problem.

However, skipper Micky Higham is in contention after recovering from a bout of shingles.

“I have had a chat with ‘Jukesy’ and hopefully I can put my hand up for selection and get the chance to add my experience,” he said.

“There are a few nerves in the camp but I think we have channelled them pretty well.

On his longer term future Higham added: “Nothing has been set in concrete but I still feel I can go round again. We are in the process of sorting that out.”

See updates of MPG at leighjournal.co.uk on Saturday