Joe Wardle is relishing the tough Easter programme and knows it could prove the ideal time for the Huddersfield Giants to finally kick-start their stuttering Super League campaign.

Last season’s table-toppers slumped to 10th in the top-flight table with last Thursday’s bitterly-disappointing 30-6 defeat at Hull FC.

That made it just one win in Huddersfield’s last eight League and Cup outings as they prepare for today’s trip to Salford Red Devils (6.00).

But the 22-year-old centre knows it won’t take much for the Giants to turn things around and begin to climb back up the Super League ladder.

“We know we’re not playing well, but we are remaining positive,” said Wardle.

“It was obvious to everyone who saw the Hull game that we just didn’t turn up.

“But it was also pretty obvious that if we’d cut out the mistakes and the penalties we’d have given ourselves a far better chance, so we know exactly what we need to do to put things right.

“And, hopefully, that’s what we’ll do at Salford tonight.

“I know there are always a lot of complaints at this time of the year about teams having to play two games in four days.

“But I see it as a golden opportunity to turn things around and prove to everyone just how much quality there is in your squad – and we’re certainly not lacking in quality,

“We’ve got some very talented young lads at the club, and this is the time when you could see one or two of them shining. I’d love to think so.

“Personally, I’m feeling fresh, and I’m excited by the prospect of playing Salford tonight and then Wakefield at home on Monday.”

Wardle admits part of that freshness is down to the fact he recently had a spell on the sidelines after picking up an ankle injury in the defeat at Catalan Dragons.

He was sidelined only for a couple of weeks, when it was expected he’d be out for a month.

Fellow centre Leroy Cudjoe is also in line for a return tonight following a two-week lay-off, also with ankle ligament damage. He, too, was expected to be out longer.

Huddersfield Giants v Leeds Rhinos at the John Smith's Stadium, Huddersfield. Leroy Cudjoe
 

So what is it about Giants’ centres and their quick healing powers?

“We’re just hard nuts!” joked Wardle.

“But I suppose we have to give the credit where it’s really due, and that’s to our physios, who are absolutely amazing at getting us back playing as quickly as they do.

“You obviously do the best you can to get yourself right, but it’s the physios who tell us what to do and how to do it. We know 100% that if they tell us to do it, it’ll be right.

“The key for us when we get back playing is to make sure we don’t let that hard work from the physio team go to waste and we perform to the best of our ability.

“That’s what we’re all determined to do now.

“We know we face a massive challenge at Salford tonight, because they’ve got threats all over the field. Much is said about the skills of Rangi Chase, for instance, but their other half-back, Tim Smith, is just as dangerous.

“But I know we’re ready to meet that challenge head-on, and that if we perform to our best then we’ll give ourselves a fantastic chance.”

Wardle will tonight have a change in wing partner, with former Salford man Jodie Broughton missing out. His place could be taken again by Aaron Murphy.

Also sitting out the game at the AJ Bell Stadium is a second former Salford man in Luke Robinson, although both men are expected to be back for the Wakefield clash on Easter Monday.

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