New Huddersfield Giants coach Simon Woolford says no-one can be content with a four-match unbeaten run as they approach the big Ladbrokes Challenge Cup clash with Catalans Dragons.
The 43-year-old Aussie arrived on Friday and watched the Giants defeat Salford Red Devils 24-16 at the AJ Bell Stadium.
It was a 10th match in charge for interim head coach Chris Thorman and the victory catapulted the Giants out of the bottom four ahead of Thursday’s quarter-final clash with Catalans at the John Smith’s Stadium (7.35).
Woolford is delighted with the progress made while he’s waited in Canberra for visa clearance and is in no mood to relinquish the momentum gained while Thorman, Mark Andrews and Luke Robinson have been steering the ship.
“While we’ve had a great last month we can’t be content with that,” said Woolford, who has been keeping tabs by skype on the Giants training and matches since the sacking of previous boss Rick Stone.
“We are still in a precarious position as far as our position in the ladder goes and there is still a lot of work to do.
“If the guys continue to work hard and improve their game, then that’s all we can ask as coaches.
“They are a good bunch of lads, they have all jumped on board and they are all buying into what we are trying to do as a team and as a club.
“I can’t fault them, and as long as we stay on that track then the more wins will come.”
Catalans come to Huddersfield off the back of a fine 33-20 victory over Leeds Rhinos which has lifted them to third bottom of the Super League table, level on 10 points with Salford and just a point behind the Giants.
Woolford had the players in for a recuperation and review session on Saturday and they are back on the training field today.
“It’s a short week for us, but not as short as Catalans, who played on Saturday and have to travel,” said Woolford, the former Canberra Raiders hooker who was assistant coach at Newcastle Knights.
“It is a turnaround we will deal with, we’ve got a couple of field sessions to get things right and we will be ready to go.
“The squad understand we are getting a lot of players back from injury – probably another couple this week – and they understand we’ve got some selection decisions to make.
“So it’s important the guys get that attitude to improve their game, become better players and prepare to work hard.”
So what did Woolford think of the Giants’ performance at Salford?
“It’s not really about what happened on Friday night, it’s about what’s happened over the last month or so,” he explained.
“We have made significant improvement and that’s all we can ask, that we get better each week as individuals and as a team.
“We didn’t play our best footy in the first half and our effort was a little bit down but, having said that, Salford came out of the blocks pretty hard.
“They beat us to the punch a little bit, but the positive was we were only four points down and we addressed things at half time.
“We knew we were still in the game and, to the guys’ credit, they turned it around in the second half.
“We asked them for a little bit more and they certainly gave it.
“In the end, it was a comfortable win, and we’ve got to be happy with that.”