After the bitterly disappointing defeat at Bradford Bulls on Sunday, has your main task this week been to lift the players?
No, not at all.
Everyone was obviously feeling pretty bad over the way things went that day.
But we all know you don’t become a good team overnight, and you don’t become a bad team overnight.
There have been examples throughout the game of teams losing by 30 one week and winning by 30 the next, it’s happened to me as a player and it’s happened to me as a coach and I know it’ll happen again.
It’s how you deal with the losses that’s the key and I know we’ll deal with this.
Unfortunately, sides do suffer glitches at some stages of a season, but I know we’ll be fine.
Yes, we haven’t won that many games in recent weeks, and that’s something which has been highlighted in the wake of that Bradford defeat.
But we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that in the defeat at a very handy Warrington side the other week we almost turned a 22-0 half-time deficit into a victory.
That’s something we shouldn’t overlook.
But I’d say the key right now is to just move on and put the Bradford defeat right behind us.
Having said that, how much credit do Bradford deserve for the way they played against you?
Their tactics on the day were spot-on and they taught us a very painful lesson in how to play wet-weather rugby.
They kicked early, jammed us in the corners and never let us get out of them. The amount of pressure they applied to us, particularly in the first half, was a massive factor.
The game is based on building pressure and field position, and in the last two games we’ve clearly lost those battles.
I think with 10 minutes of last week’s game to go, Bradford had 130 tackles in our territory and we’d had 30 in theirs. I think that speaks for itself.
But I think the most disappointing thing of all for us is that our resolve is just not as good as it was earlier in the year, and that obviously needs addressing as quickly as possible.
I suppose it could be a mental thing, with our confidence coming into play, but for some reason we’re just not at the level we’ve set ourselves over the past couple of years.
As well as struggling against such eager opposition and the wet conditions, you also suffered a couple of key injuries. How big a factor was that?
We obviously lost Kev Brown and Luke O’Donnell to injury, and both are important players for us, although they certainly weren’t the reason why we lost this game.
Kev picked up his knock very early in the game and tried to carry on, but it was clear at half-time there was no way he could continue.
Then we lost Luke, who’s obviously a key member of our pack.
I think those injuries summed up that it wasn’t a great day for us.
To be honest, we’ve had a bit of a rough run on the injury-front over the past six weeks and I was hoping we could start to put that behind us.
I thought that with all our key players back in their key positions against Bradford we’d have done a lot better, but it just wasn’t to be.
One positive was the return of Danny Brough after injury. How do you think he did?
There’s no question Broughy had parts to his game which I’m sure will benefit him when we face Castleford in the Challenge Cup this weekend.
His performance was clearly something to build on.
Yet, in the final analysis, I think it proved that simply having Broughy in the side isn’t the difference between winning and losing for us, which is something that’s been suggested.
This season, we’ve won without Broughy, we’ve won without Luke Robinson and we’ve won without Kevin Brown, which is now something we’ll be looking to do again.
And the reason for that is because the team has played well.
The team didn’t play well against Bradford the other day, and even though we had Broughy, Kev and Robbo in the side, we were well beaten.
That shows how vital the team performance is for the success of a side, and everyone can see that we’re definitely not playing well enough as a team.
The most crucial thing for us to find that extra resolve, knuckle down and take the way we’ve been training onto the field.
After all, there’s still so much more to play for between now and the end of the season.
It starts this weekend with the Challenge Cup quarter-final at Castleford, and even though we’ve got our fair share of injuries we know we’ll put out a side that’s more than capable of winning and taking us to one game away from Wembley.
Finally, you’ve been linked with the vacant coaching post at Australian NRL club Canterbury Bulldogs. Is there any truth in that?
Apparently I’m still going everywhere, even though I’ve just signed a new one-year extension here!
As far as I’m concerned, this speculation isn’t even worth talking about.
I’m at the Giants and that’s it.