The lads were pretty deflated after the Warrington defeat. How are they now?
A lot better, although still clearly disappointed wit what went on (losing 54-6 at the Halliwell Jones Stadium).
The key has been to pick yourselves up, dust yourselves down and just get on with it.
The last thing you should do is dwell on things, because the more you do that the worse it gets.
So what we’ve done is drawn a line in the sand, moved on and have strived to find the recipe to get the performance we want.
We have identified the areas we need to improve and we’ve spent the week working towards that, although which areas they are obviously not for public consumption.
But what is for certain is that we’ve got to compete a lot harder for a lot longer.
And with the personnel we’ve got available to us again, we’re confident that will be achieved.
Danny Brough (illness), Luke George (illness), Jermaine McGillvary (ankle), David Faiumu (finger) and Luke O’Donnell (hamstring) all trained fully yesterday and are definitely in the frame to return.
So we are looking at making a number of potential changes this weekend.
Could those changes also include Dale Ferguson, who hasn’t been featuring in Super League over the past few months?
May be. He’s certainly another player who’s available and in contention.
Fergy is fit and obviously eager to get back in the Super League frame.
But in recent months, there are other people in the same position as him who are doing things a little bit better.
It’s up to Fergy to change that. That’s the challenge for him.
As well as being bitterly disappointed by the Giants’ performance, you also said you were very impressed by Warrington. Do you feel they’re capable of completing a League and Cup double this year?
They could do the double this year, yes.
They’re a very special team. They showed that in beating Leeds so convincingly in the Challenge Cup final at Wembley and then backed it up with an outstanding performance against us.
But once we get into the play-offs everything changes, and it becomes a totally different competition.
I’ve made no secret of the fact I’ve not liked talking about the play-offs while the regular season is still taking place.
But when you do reach the play-offs it’s no longer about performance it’s about winning, and it’s how sides handle this particular situation.
History has shown that when it comes to the play-offs anything is possible.
And you’ll probably be reluctant to talk about the play-offs even more because of the importance of Sunday’s home game against Leeds, won’t you?
This is a big game in its own right.
It’s a local derby between two teams who’ll be determined to finish the regular season with a win.
And, for us, we’re looking forward to challenging ourselves against one of the most consistent sides in Super League.
They’ve got an incredible amount of strength and potency, and we know only our best is going to be good enough. That’s what all our focus has been on this week.
Was one of the few positives you could take from the Warrington game the debut performance from Matty Dawson?
I think he did ok, and he certainly wasn’t the worse player on the field that day.
His preparation didn’t help, in that he didn’t find out until 8am on the morning of the game that he’d be playing first grade and not Under 20s.
But that didn’t appear to faze him and he handle the occasion well. He came into a team that’s struggling and was up against one of Super League’s top sides and didn’t look out of place.
What he did was encouraging for the club in terms of the systems we’ve got underneath first grade.
And given the two years of bad luck he’s had since joining us from Castleford we were all delighted for him.
In his first season he suffered a fractured cheekbone, a dislocated and fractured finger and a bad hamstring injury.
Then this season when he was starting to hit some real form he suffered a serious knee injury.
It was an injury that can keep you on the sidelines for up to 10 months, but he was back in six.
Now he’s made what I thought was a very solid Super League debut.
Put it this way, if I do need to include him again at Super League level I’d have no hesitation whatsoever.
You are apprehensive when you put a young player in at this level for the first time, but any doubts I may have had have already disappeared.