You’re now having to host Wigan on Saturday, because of Town’s FA Cup fifth-round tie against Wigan Athletic being televised on Sunday. Has that caused major disruption?
No, none at all, to be honest.
We’ve known for a couple of weeks this could be happening, and so have Wigan.
So we decided the other week how we’d be training, regardless of whether it would be a Saturday or Sunday fixture.
We trained yesterday, we’re training today and we’re training tomorrow, so when it comes to gameday we know we’ll be ready.
And we’re happy for the switch, because it’s being made for the good of the town.
The reason it’s happening is because of Town’s good FA Cup run, so it’s a good thing for everyone.
It’s also good for the town to see the Giants top of the Super League table, isn’t it?
Yes, I suppose it is.
But you can’t expect me to be getting too carried away with that fact just yet.
If you fast forward from round two to round 27 and we’re still top, that’s when I’ll talk to you about being happy. Now’s certainly not the time.
Obviously, we could have made a far worse start after the opening two rounds, but there’s a long, long way to go.
All I’m bothered about right now is making sure we’re as well prepared as we possibly can be to face Wigan.
And is the squad looking in good shape to face the Warriors?
It could be looking a lot worse for us.
Everyone who played against London Broncos on Sunday is available for selection, including David Faiumu.
He obviously had that sleep during the game when he took a heavy blow.
But he’s been able to train this week, and it’s just a case of passing his head test, which it looks like he’ll be able to do.
Having said that, we are looking at the possibility of making one of two slight changes.
I wasn’t happy with some elements of our game against London, and that’s something we need to address.
We’ve got some standards and, as a collective, we let ourselves down.
We can’t afford for that to happen again.
Nobody needs to tell us we need to show a massive improvement if we are to beat Wigan this weekend.
But I am confident we will see those improvements.
The difference between round one and round two is that we prepared to play a top team on the opening night at St Helens and produced the performance to match.
Then in round two we took London for granted, and could have easily paid the ultimate price.
We seriously disrespected them and ourselves on the day, because we didn’t prepare in our minds to the best of our ability.
I don’t want that to happen again.
Although you’ve been critical of the team’s performance against the Broncos, you singled Danny Brough out for praise. Why was that?
Because Broughy manned up.
The reason he got the captaincy was that he leads by his actions, and that’s exactly what he did against London.
I told our big blokes at half-time they should have been embarrassed by what they all saw, because our 70-odd kilo captain was coming off his line and belting people, while they were just standing and watching.
It goes without saying that simply shouldn’t be the case at all.
This week it’s been confirmed Luke O’Donnell has left the club and has returned to Australia. How disappointed are you about that?
Yes, it is disappointing.
But I fully understand his reasons for leaving and he certainly goes with my very best wishes.
He’s obviously a quality player, and has had a positive influence on a lot of players at the clubs.
In fact, I had a coffee with him this week before he leaves us in the morning, and we had a good talk about what he thought about me as a coach and the club as a whole.
As usual, he talked a lot of sense and I did appreciate his input.
Are you already considering a replacement for him?
The plan is to replace him, although we don’t feel we need to be rushed.
At the moment, it’s very early days and we’re just throwing names around.
But what Luke’s departure does do is free up a fair amount of salary-cap space.
Fortunately, we’ve already got a quality squad and we’ve got the time to assess where we need to strengthen.
We just don’t know at this stage whether we’re going to need a forward or a back, or whether we recruit from over here or in the Australian NRL.
As I said, we don’t feel there’s a rush to make a decision at all.