Paul Clough says personal delight at a new two-year contract has been tempered because of Huddersfield Giants’ current struggles in Super League.
The 30-year-old has committed to the Giants until the end of the 2020 season but says his only focus at the moment is trying to help ensure a victory at Widnes tonight.
The Vikings will be attempting to condemn Rick Stone’s side to a fourth defeat in five outings – the Giants are second bottom of the table – but Clough says the Claret and Gold are ready to respond with a more complete team performance.
“From personal point of view it’s great to sign a new deal but, really, it is all about the team and, just at the minute, we are not where we want to be,” said Clough.
“The team is more important than what is happening with me in my opinion, even though it was nice to get it sorted, but as a team we do need to get some things sorted.
“Hopefully, if we can pull things together, we can soon go through a good patch and get a few wins.
“These are two big games that are coming up for us against Widnes away and Hull KR at home and, hopefully, we can get something out of those.”
Clough has played mainly from the prop and loose-forward positions racking up 33 appearances – scoring two tries – since joining from Bradford Bulls in 2017.
Heading over to Widnes, he reckons the Giants are closer to being a winning team and climbing the table than current results and the league ladder might suggest.
“The table really only starts to take shape after Easter, but we need to get wins before then to take a little bit of the pressure off ourselves,” he explained.
“We can’t go to Widnes expecting to win, it is easier said than done sometimes and, to be fair, they have done fairly well.
“It is more down to us from a team perspective, to try the best we can do and, once you are winning, then it can sometimes take care of itself.
“We are where we are in the tbale and the record speaks for iteslf.
“We are where we are because we haven’t been winning games, but we are not far off the mark in terms of form.
“Really, it is down to us to just keep working hard and improving.”
So what might tip the scales and bring two points at Widnes?
“Definitely we need to put in the complete performance,” answered Clough.
“It is what you train for all week and then, off the back of the game, you look to see how you can move forward again.
“We were very disappointed last week, but it is a short turnaround and we can have short memories and go into this game and get on with the job.
“There is no point wasting time worrying about what happened last week. What matters now is the game against Widnes and taking on the challenge of the next step.
“Widnes have lots of speed, a lot of skill and on their artificial pitch that’s the way they are playing their game.
“That may be an advantage to them, but we have to go there and give a good performancve and, hopefully, we can do the job.
“We will just have to give it our best shot to get the result that we want.”