IT'S fair to say that injuries have been taking their toll on the squad in recent weeks.
Going into the chaotic Easter programme and the Challenge Cup semi-final against St Helens, I always feared this may well be the case.
We've been struggling to get a settled side, with Marcus St Hilaire, Mick Slicker and Darren Turner the latest not to make the starting line-up against Warrington at the weekend.
Now, on top of that, we've lost Paul Smith for at least the next three weeks with a badly broken nose which requires surgery to repair the damage.
That really is a big blow, because I've been delighted with the form Paul's been showing in the last few weeks.
I think it sums it up when I reveal to everyone that in the last three matches - two Super League games and the Challenge Cup semi-final against St Helens - Paul hasn't missed a single tackle. That's a fantastic achievement at this level.
And it is, of course, a statistic achieved by a player who this time last year had never played Super League.
But his success hasn't come by chance.
The way Paul has played is a reward for all his hard work in training and the attitude he shows in every session.
I just hope that as a result of having to miss the next few games, it'll give him the chance to freshen himself up before returning to full training.
You never know, the rest may even further help in his development, which is a very exciting prospect indeed.
NO ROOM for sentiment as Hull come to town
I'VE already lost count of the number of times I've been asked how I feel about facing former club Hull tomorrow night.
I had 11 great years over on the east coast and tomorrow will be the first time I'll be taking on Hull as head coach of their opponents.
During my time playing in the famous black and white, I appeared in a Yorkshire Cup final as an 18-year-old and then two Premiership finals at Old Trafford, in 1989 and 1991.
And I also went on to enjoy a great testimonial season.
As a result, I would be lying if I said the club wasn't still very close to my heart.
In fact, I still go over to the city on a regular basis to see my many friends in that part of the world.
But does that mean I'll be feeling sentimental when my Giants go out and try and beat them tomorrow night?
You must be joking!
There simply is no room for sentiment at this level of our sport.
To be honest, a lot of that sentiment left as soon as I walked out of the Hull door and moved to Featherstone Rovers in 1996.
The only thing that bothers me tomorrow night is for the Giants to perform to their full potential once again and, hopefully, collect another two points.
That's what tomorrow is about.
IT'S BEEN a good week for the club in terms of tying down three of this season's top performers to new contracts.
Paul March, Paul Reilly and Mick Slicker have all put pen to paper in the past seven days and will now remain at the McAlpine until the end of the 2006 season at the earliest.
As head coach, I'm always keen to reward my players for the effort they put in, and there's no better way of doing that than offering them new deals.
To be in a position to sign them up at this stage of the season shows what a successful start to the year we have made.
There have already been a number of times this season when we've looked at our position in the Super League table and had to take a reality check.
There's no question we're ahead of our schedules - not that we're complaining, of course.
Everyone is enjoying playing the game right now, and even though we're carrying our fair share of knocks the boys can't wait for each game to come along.
That was something that was also the case the week after our Challenge Cup semi-final defeat to St Helens.
Rather than feeling sorry for themselves, the boys were determined to prove to everyone that the display against Saints was not a true reflection of the Giants.
They immediately got their chance back at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, and came up with a fantastic win against Warrington.
Looking back on our performances so far this season, I would have to say that was probably our best.
We may have secured a 26-10 home win over Wigan earlier in the year, but the way the boys bounced back from their semi-final defeat was extra special.
Against St Helens we fell 12-0 behind and lacked the composure to claw our way back into the contest.
It was something that caused me concern, and we worked hard in training last week to try and rectify that.
Thankfully, the effort paid off.
Twice against Warrington we fell behind - 8-0 and then 20-14 - and on each occasion we held strong and came back, ultimately to claim the win.
And it was a win in which so many players were prepared to stand up and be counted.
One player who obviously caught the eye was big Eorl Crabtree.
Eorl has been growing in stature and confidence as the weeks have progressed.
In my opinion, he has been a model of consistency and is now an established Super League performer.
He's another of our early success stories.