The Galpharm Stadium chief answers the questions put by Examiner RL writer Chris Roberts.
IT’S Leeds Rhinos at Headingley on Friday, and the Giants are viewed by many as favourites. How does that make you feel?
To be honest, it never really bothers me if we do or don’t go in as favourites, it’s how you perform on the night that matters.
But there’s no doubt being made favourites for a game against such an outstanding side as Leeds at Headingley is a measure of the progress Huddersfield Giants are making.
We’re given that tag because of where we’re sitting in the table (second on points difference only to leaders Castleford Tigers), and everyone involved with the club should be proud of that fact.
So the most important thing isn’t the fact we’re favourites or not, it’s the way we play tomorrow night that counts.
Our goal is to play well week in, week out, and that means making sure we back up a good performance against Warrington with a good performance against Leeds.
It certainly wouldn’t sit easily with me if we now went to Headingley tomorrow night and put in a bad performance.
You came desperately close to winning at Leeds last season when you led 20-14 with five minutes to go and ended up losing 21-20. Will that be at the back of the players’ minds tomorrow?
Not really, but, again, it’s a sign of how we’re closing the gap on the so-called ‘big sides’ in Super League.
Last year we were closer to beating Leeds than we were the year before, so if that trend continues tomorrow night, it’s not going to be too bad, is it?
And as we feel we’re more well equipped as a side than we were last year, we know we’ll be travelling to Headingley feeling confident.
And do you realise that if Huddersfield win, it’ll be the first victory at Headingley for 52 years?
I’m afraid statistics like that don’t really interest me.
It doesn’t faze me at all, to be honest, and I certainly don’t think the players focus on things like that in the build-up to a game. What happened 50 years ago will have no influence whatsoever on the events at Headingley tomorrow night.
A lot of things seem to be made of stats like this over here, but that doesn’t happen in Australia.
The focus isn’t on what’s happened in the past, it’s how you go out on the field and play now. If you go well, you win, if you don’t, you lose.
In a nutshell, what ground it’s on or when you last won there is all irrelevant to me.
All I know is that on the last two times we’ve played at Leeds when I’ve been coach, they’ve just been that little bit better than us. What counts is making sure we find a way of making sure that’s not repeated again tomorrow.
But you couldn’t be travelling there in better shape than after such a magnificent win over Warrington Wolves last Friday, could you?
It was certainly a good win, and I’m proud of the way everyone played that night.
What was the most pleasing was that it was a good win against such good opposition.