What were your overall impressions of Sunday’s Challenge Cup win over Rochdale Hornets?
We were obviously pleased to have got through, which was the main objective.
But what was also very good was that this game gave us the opportunity to give some of the younger people an opportunity – the players who haven’t played for the first team at all or have played just one or two games.
The likes of Josh Griffin, Larne Patrick and Keal Carlile were given their chance and will have benefited greatly from the experience.
Obviously, they were helped by the fact that they had some experienced players around them, which was important.
And I think they will all have acknowledged that the Cup tie was nowhere near as physical or intense as a Super League game.
But it really was good to give them a chance, and we did enough to get the win against a Rochdale side who tried hard throughout the game.
I think they (Rochdale) felt pretty good about themselves at the end of the game, which was good.
Paul Jackson led the team out at the weekend, so was he the captain for the day?
It was a role shared by Jacko and Eorl Crabtree, dependent on who was on the field at the time.
They are both members of the leadership group, which is a group nominated by the players at the start of the season.
Obviously, because Brett Hodgson was rested, we needed to make the change of captaincy and, once again, the players put forward their nominations from the group, and Jacko and Eorl got the nod.
I was more than happy with that, and for Jacko it was a reward for all the hard work he puts in on such a regular basis.
As everyone now knows, the reward for beating the Hornets is a home quarter-final tie against Castleford. Have you given that game much thought?
The Castleford tie comes at the end of a big three-week period for ourselves.
Before then, we’ve got Sunday’s home game against Salford and then the match at Wakefield, which can further help us cement our place in the top four.
That’s when we can think about Castleford and trying to push on in the Challenge Cup.
We’ve got to put than to the back of our minds.
So, it’s all about Salford on Sunday, and no doubt the return of a number of rested players.
There will certainly be one or two, although whether that means all those (eight) who sat out the Rochdale game remains to be seen.
But any of those who isn’t 100% fit won’t be considered for this weekend.
In fact, it’s possible that one player who was ruled out with injury last week could be back in contention this weekend.
That’s (second-rower) Andy Raleigh.
He’s recovered very well from his knee injury and has just been cleared by the medical staff to return.
He was involved in a tough training session yesterday, and if he suffers no ill-effects in the next day or two he could play. It’s a case of waiting.
You’ve been linked this week with a loan move for young Wigan back-rower Lee Mossop. Have there been any developments?
He’s certainly a player we’d like to get into the club on a loan basis.
Ideally, we’d like him in by the end of the week, but whether that happens right now is anyone’s guess.
At this stage, we’re still taking to Wigan, but we remain hopeful that a deal will be struck at some stage.
Potential players coming in is something that’s become fairly common for the Giants this season, with the likes of Nathan Fien and Danny Brough having already been linked. How distracting can that be for the players?
It shouldn’t be a distraction at all, to be honest.
Unfortunately, it’s just the nature of the environment in which we work.
I think the key is to be as up front and honest as you possibly can with the players when there’s so much speculation. It’s only right to let them know what’s going on.
However, at the same time, whether the players are happy or unhappy with what’s going on, I think they should always do their best for their teammates. That’s always important.