LIAM Hood has a message for any doubters believing Leigh’s new Super League status will only last one season – don’t put your money on it!

Centurions’ return to the top flight in 2021 for the first time since 2017 may have been decided by off the field, virtual meetings, but Scottish international hooker Hood is determined head coach John Duffy’s squad can justify the decision on the pitch next year.

“A lot of people will expect us to go up and come back down again,” said Hood of Leigh’s welcome elevation from the Championship without passing or kicking a ball.

“However, we will go into the season with the mindset ‘we are going to go up, stay up and do well.’

“We are going to rock up, no matter who we are up against, and be confident we can do a job.”

The former Leeds, Salford and Widnes forward added: “We know every week now we have got to be at our best.

“No disrespect to some of the teams in the Championship but you know you can have an off day and still come away with a win.

“You can’t do that in Super League. If you are not doing all the little things right, the chances of coming away with the two points are slim.

“Avoiding relegation is the bottom end of where we feel we want to be. We want to be pushing and aiming for top eight.”

Hood was a member of the Leigh team beaten 26-10 by Catalans Dragons in the 2017 Million Pound game.

“The competition has definitely got stronger since Leigh were last in Super League,” agreed the 28-year-old.

“You just have to look at the teams and the signings they have made; Greg Inglis at Warrington, Jai Field at Wigan. But it makes it more exciting for us to test ourselves against some of the best players in the world.

“Derek (Beaumont) and Duffs have brought in fantastic players with experience; players who have been there and done it.

“They are the players you want to play alongside. When it comes to game day they are switched on and know exactly what they are doing. Standards have been driven up massively at this club.”

Asked if Leigh could avoid relegation confident Duffy said: “Definitely – it is going to be a tough gig.

“But we have the right people at the club; we have brought in Super League staff already. So, hopefully, we can give a good account of ourselves and keep the club up.”

Centurions have already advertised for a full-time assistant to Duffy while Micky Higham receives a more hands on coaching role, too.

Duffy’s playing squad isn’t yet complete and he expects a minimum of three new players prior to the new campaign.

“We know the areas we need to bring in: outside back, winger and back-row forward,” he confirmed.

Proud owner Beaumont said: “The first thing Duffs said to me was ‘I don’t want to get Leigh into Super League, I want to be the coach who keeps Leigh in Super League.”