Lee Gaskell insists Salford are under far more pressure than the Bulls heading into Sunday’s crunch clash at the AJ Bell Stadium.
The big-spending Red Devils brought in 16 new players during the off-season and were tipped by Sky Sports pundit Phil Clarke as potential Grand Finalists.
But they have failed badly to deliver and, after multimillionaire owner Dr Marwan Koukash unseated Brian Noble as head coach in April, Iestyn Harris has been unable to conjure a winning formula.
The former Bradford stand-off tasted victory at Odsal in his first game in charge but Salford have since embarked on a disastrous eight-match winless run.
Harris’ men lie just seven points above Bradford but that gap could be dramatically cut if the Bulls gain points back from their appeal hearing and then win on Sunday.
Gaskell, who spent the majority of last season on loan at Salford, said: “I think they are under a lot more pressure than us with the money that Koukash has spent.
“He’s expecting his players to deliver week in and week out but I think we can go there and win.
“We thought we could do a number on Warrington because we turned them over a few weeks ago, so we were very disappointed afterwards.
“Salford is a must-win game now, there’s no doubt about that, and we want to be coming off the pitch this week as winners.
“I’m quite surprised they have struggled so much because they have got world-class players but when you bring in so many it takes time to gel.
“There are different personalities and it’s about whether they get on with each other on and off the pitch.
“It would be massive to beat Salford because they’re one of the teams around us and it would drag them right into it, but we’re capable of beating any team on our day.
“We’ve just got to stick to the gameplan and not make so many errors.”
Noble was keen to sign Gaskell permanently at the end of last season but the former St Helens man opted for Bradford instead.
He added: “It was a good time for me at Salford last season because I got a good few games under my belt after not playing much at Saints.
“I could have signed for Salford but I met with Franny and it’s been a good decision for me to come to Bradford. I don’t regret it.”
The Bulls could hear any day now about the outcome of their points appeal but Gaskell said: “We’re not concentrating on that (points hearing) but it would be nice to get it done and dusted so we know where we stand.”
Meanwhile, Antonio Kaufusi is set stay at Huddersfield and fight for his place in Paul Anderson’s side following the end of his four-match loan spell with the Bulls.