BATTLING Giants coach Jon Sharp believes the time has come for all his players to stand up and be counted.
Sharp's injury-hit side face another major test of character against Challenge Cup winners St Helens in tonight's big Super League clash at the McAlpine (8.00).
But he will not allow his players to use the injury situation as an excuse as the Giants look to bounce back from their 40-12 defeat at second-placed Hull on Sunday.
"Playing at Hull at the weekend and then backing up against St Helens in midweek is a tough ask for any side," conceded Sharp.
"But I will not allow my players to hide behind this as an excuse for lowering their standards.
"I expect all 17 who play tonight to give 100%, play through the pain and do everything they can to get us a victory.
"Even though the squad continues to be down to the bare bones, we have shown during this very tough spell that we have genuine character in the side.
"The players have remained strong throughout the games and never rolled over and died. I've been proud of the way they have kept battling.
"I am asking for the players to do the same again against Saints.
"We have worked tremendously hard to earn the right to be in the top six, and we can't afford to lose any more momentum.
"A quality performance against a side like St Helens is just what we need right now."
Sharp was giving late fitness checks to several players before finalising tonight's side, and has added fit-again duo Jonathan Grayshon (ankle) and Iain Morrison (sternum) to the 17 who were in action at Hull.
"When the game had slipped away from us at Hull in the final quarter, I did start to turn my attentions to this match tonight," revealed Sharp.
"I deliberately brought off one or two players who I was keen to keep fresh for the Saints.
"Overall, I think it's paid off, and we managed to escape on Sunday relatively injury-free.
"Hopefully, it will be the same again tonight, because we've got Widnes at home on the Sunday.
"But we're under no illusions as to how tough it will be tonight.
"Like ourselves, St Helens are struggling due to a lack of personnel, but they remain a quality side.
"I'm sure that with the talent still in their side and with the support they will bring with them it will be a great occasion."