IT goes without saying that there is nothing I want more than to beat Castleford Tigers in our opening Super League match on Sunday.
That's what we've been aiming towards for the past 14 or 15 weeks, and I believe the boys are ready to go out and get the job done.
If that proves to be the case it's nothing more than they deserve.
In the five months I have been at the club, I would have to say that it is the attitude of the players that has made the most positive impression on me.
I have been blown away by their attitude. They have all been brilliant.
I have to hold up my hands and admit that at times I have been hard on them and really flogged them on the training pitch.
But they have never once moaned about it.
They fully understand that if they want to achieve success in a competition as demanding as Super League, they have to put in the effort.
There were signs in our pre-season game against Castleford that the hard work is paying off.
Obviously, the defeat at Leeds nine days later brought them down a peg or two, but that match was clearly a one-off and there were a whole load of circumstances that contributed to what we saw at Headingley that day.
As I've stated before, I believe the players' emotion in facing their former coach got the better of them, which was obviously a pretty big disappointment to me.
But I think it also showed that we've still got an awful lot of work to do to reach our peak.
In the build-up to the Leeds match I made it clear that my main objective was to see this team achieve a high level of consistency. They set the standard with their performance against Castleford but failed to match it.
Only when we achieve that level of consistency I'm seeking will I sit back and feel we're really getting somewhere.
I feel we're still a fair way off that objective, and in this respect I hope the fans remain patient.
I'm fully aware that the level of expectancy among the supporters has increased, and many are looking for us to build on last year's successes when victories over Leeds, Wigan and St Helens were achieved.
I have no doubt that in time that objective will be met, but I don't think anyone should lose sight of the fact that this is a relatively new team, with five fresh faces replacing four departures.
New teams need time to gel in order to achieve that level of consistency I'm looking for, but it will come, I can assure you.
It's something I'm sure the magnificent Huddersfield fans will fully appreciate.
One of the reasons why I was so keen to re-join the Giants at the end of last season was because of the relationship I had built up with many of the supporters here.
Their knowledge of the game is fantastic. It was a pleasure meeting them when I was assistant coach three years ago, and it's already been a pleasure meeting them again this time around.
I know they are fully aware of exactly how hard the players are working at the game and that their time will come.
It's also been great to have received such strong support from our chairman, Ken Davy.
Ken may be one of the busiest men I know, but that hasn't stopped him taking a very full interest in our pre-season preparations.
Whenever he has the time, he sticks his head into my office to see if everything is okay and he's popped in to training sessions on a very regular basis. I think he's enjoyed what he's seen.
I'm also confident that Ken and all the supporters will enjoy our performances this year, although we know this season will be exceptionally tough.
It seems that every year the standard of Super League is improving, and 2004 will be no exception. There's a lot to look forward to.