AS we prepare to face National League opposition in the fourth round of the Carnegie Challenge Cup we’re feeling a massive sense of deja vu.
I remember exactly how I felt at this stage of the competition last season, and I’m sure all the fans do too.
We were preparing to face National League York City Knights after we had lost our opening seven games of the Super League season.
As a result, some of the supporters were getting on our backs and calling for the head of coach Jon Sharp. It was a tough time to be a Huddersfield Giants player.
But the York game came at just the right time.
All the anxiety that had been on show as the League losses kept on coming was swept away as we rattled up a big score and the confidence returned.
From that moment on, we never looked back on the Super League front and ended up reaching the play-offs for the first time.
Now quickly move forward a year.
On Sunday, we head to National League Halifax in the fourth round of the Carnegie Challenge Cup with the Super League pressure once again on us after a couple of bitterly disappointing performances.
So, obviously, we’re hoping something similar can happen in 2008.
It goes without saying we’ll be giving Halifax the respect they deserve, but we do see this tie as an ideal opportunity to get everything back on track.
It’s something Kev Brown and myself spoke about on the phone over the weekend.
In the wake of our defeat to Wakefield, Kev called me for a chat about the way things had been going and what we could do about it.
Like me, he was feeling pretty down, but the experience of last year was something we spoke about at length and how everything is in place for something similar this time as well.
I think the talk helped and being able to draw on last year is something I know will stand us in good stead.
Even when we lost the opening seven games last season we never stopped believing.
We knew we had the ability and that if we kept putting in the hard work, the results would eventually go our way.
And that’s exactly the attitude we are adopting now.
As well as being the most talented squad I’ve ever worked with, this is also the hardest working bunch I’ve known.
That’s something else that will stand us in good stead, and if anyone saw the way we have knuckled down in training this week, they’ll have seen first hand exactly how determined we are to turn things around.
As a group, the criticism we received during and after our defeat to Wakefield has hit us hard.
But, at the same time, it’s also made us a lot stronger.
Like last season when the going was tough we developed a siege mentality.
We felt as if it was us against the rest of the world, and that sticking together was our best form of attack.
This week I’ve been training alongside my best mates, and we know that we’ll work as one to make sure the good times are once again just around the corner.