NATHAN BROWN is looking forward to the Giants’ biggest week in 2011 so far.
His third-placed Super League XVI side head to Bradford Bulls on Sunday (3.00) desperate to return to winning ways and keep the pressure on the top two of Wigan and Warrington.
Huddersfield lost vital ground on the leading pair after falling to a 28-16 defeat at the second-placed Wolves a week ago.
A win would obviously keep Brown’s men on course for a top-three finish.
But with the Giants also keen to progress in the Carnegie Challenge Cup, the Galpharm chief knows a quality display at Odsal would put them in excellent heart ahead of the quarter-final trip to face Castleford Tigers on Sunday week.
“Although we were disappointed with what happened at Warrington last week, we’re still in pretty good shape,” said Brown.
“We’re third in Super League and still involved in the Cup, and we’ve made it clear we want to do well on both fronts.
“At this very moment our sole focus is getting back to some form for the Bradford game on Sunday.
“If we can do that and get the win, it’ll obviously strengthen our position in Super League.
“But it would also do us a lot of good for preparing for the Cup game at Cas a week later.
“If we can win that one too, then we’ll be into the semi-finals, which would be great.
“So we know exactly how important this next week could be to our season.
“It’s a pretty exciting time.”
The Giants will make the trip to Odsal this weekend as firm favourites to collect the two League points and make it 15 Super League XVI wins from 22 starts.
In contrast, it’s been another tough year from the former Super League and World Club Champions.
The Bulls are facing the prospect of missing out on a place in the top-eight play-offs for a third successive season.
They are five points adrift of eight-placed Leeds Rhinos with just six games of the regular season remaining.
But Brown has warned his players to expect a very tough challenge.
“They are a team that can beat you if don’t play well, it’s as simple as that,” added Brown.
“Even though they’ve struggled this year, they have been making steady improvement as the season has progressed.
“There’s no doubt they are a better team now than at the start of the year, with Mick Potter’s coaching starting to have a positive influence.
“Over the past eight weeks or so they’ve won at Leeds, drawn at Catalan, drawn at home to St Helens and only just lost to Wigan in the Cup after having a man sent off.
“That’s a clear indication of how much of a potential threat they pose and why we can’t afford to be complacent.
“So the key, as always, is to make sure we focus on ourselves and what we do well and make sure we begin to show some good form again.
“The sides that make the biggest impact in the competition are obviously the ones who find their best form at the end of the year.
“That’s what we’re striving to do now, and if we can do that then it could be good for us in both competitions.”