CAPTAIN Brett Hodgson wants smiles back on the faces of the Giants.
The vastly-experienced goalkicking full-back admits the mood inside Huddersfield’s Super League camp has become far more serious on the back of two disappointing defeats.
The Giants have the chance to make sure normal service is resumed when they take on strugglers Celtic Crusaders at Murrayfield as part of the Magic Weekend in Edinburgh tomorrow (12.30).
And Hodgson is desperate to make sure that happens.
“Obviously, the mood in training over the past few weeks has been pretty serious because of the way things have gone,” said the 31-year-old Australian. “We were all bitterly, bitterly disappointed with the way things went against Leeds and Warrington (the Giants were beaten 34-6 by the Rhinos and 40-18 by the Wolves), although there’s no question the loss at Warrington hit us much harder.
“The preparation leading up to that game had gone well, and we were all determined to put things right against Warrington, so to produce the performance we did hit us hard. The energy and effort just wasn’t there.
“Obviously, we’re all aware that every side will have lapses during the course of a season, but that doesn’t help lessen the blow, and it’s clearly affected the way everyone in the squad has been feeling.
“And, to be honest, it’s been tough to take.
“I’ve been saying from day one how much I’ve enjoyed being here, and a lot of that has been down to the amount of laughs we’ve had and the size of the smiles on everyone’s faces.
“Those smiles haven’t been there in the same way over the past couple of weeks and, as a group, we don’t like that.
“We all want to see the smiles return, and we all know it’s down to us, and us alone, to make that happen.
“Hopefully, we’ll be able to do that tomorrow.”
Giants chief Nathan Brown has now confirmed the changes to this weekend’s squad.
Paying the price for last Sunday’s Warrington defeat are winger Martin Aspinwall and prop Darrell Griffin, with utility back Leroy Cudjoe, hooker Shaun Lunt and props Michael Korkidas and Larne Patrick all still in the reckoning to make welcome Murrayfield appearances.