Is everyone looking fresh after a free weekend?
Well, the few that are able to train are!
I say a ‘few’, we do have 21 players training at the moment, but that’s obviously far from ideal.
Having said that, in the short term it is hurting us having to play all the younger fellas at the same time.
But in the longer term as a club, it does have its benefits, because we know that further down the line we’ll have a bigger range of players who have had a taste of Super League to choose from.
That in itself is a big positive.
Don’t get me wrong, myself and everyone else in the club wants to get that first win , but at this stage we can look at the bigger picture. It’s still very early in the year and there’s a lot for us to look forward to.
Has coming close to beating Wigan the other week without so many senior players given the younger members of the squad a boost?
Yes, I’d imagine so.
They’re all in very good spirits and are feeling very good about the potential challenges that are lying ahead of them.
To be honest, everyone has been quite relaxed in training, both at the end of last week and the start of this, although things are starting to get a bit more serious as the Widnes games gets nearer, as you’d expect.
This is going to be another home game, and it remains our intention to turn the stadium back into a fortress.
We know we’re going to be very good when we get all our boys back, but we also know we have to be good regardless of who’s out there.
And that’s one of our jobs as coaches. We have to make sure we get the very best out of everyone.
How's trialist winger Jamie Foster fitting in?
Very well, and it was good to see him come in for some extra sessions last week to get himself up to speed.
He was understandably a little rusty against Wigan, because it was his first Super League game in over 12 months.
But I think the speed of the Wigan game probably did him good, because if it hadn’t been so quick it would have given him more time to think how tired he was!
Now he’s had a couple of more weeks with us, I expect him to do better this weekend.
As well as being a very experienced winger who’s played in Grand Finals during his time at St Helens, he’s also an accomplished goalkicker.
But that doesn’t mean he’ll be taking over from Jamie Ellis in that department this week.
Obviously, Danny Brough is our No1 kicker and Jamie’s our No2.
So when out No 1’s not there, the duties fall to our No2, and that;s Jamie Ellis, who’s an excellent back-up.
You've been linked this week with Salford winger Mason Caton-Brown. Is that right, and are you looking at anyone else?
He was someone we looked at trying to bring in.
The one thing he’s got is speed, and he’s also young.
But it was a similar case to Curtis Naughton at Hull a couple of weeks ago.
That potential deal fell through because Hull picked up a couple of injuries, and history repeated itself with Mason.
And, unfortunately, this is a pattern which is running throughout the competition right now.
Every club seems to be suffering injuries and the last thing they want is for extra members of their squad to get hurt going out on loan.
But I’m sure we’ll continue to be linked with potential new recruits all the time, because we know we’ve got such a skinny squad and we are actively on the look-out for new players.
Put it this way, I don’t think there’s a head coach I haven’t contacted over the past few weeks asking if they have anyone available.
Unfortunately, one head coach you’ll no longer be contacting is Chris Chester, who was sacked by Hull KR yesterday. Were you disappointed to hear he’d gone?
Yes I was.
Chessy is a good bloke and someone I’ve known for a long, long time.
In fact, when he first started at Halifax as a teenager I was the one who took him through, because I was there at the same time.
But it’s always disappointing to see a fellow coach lose their job, however well you know them.
Yet the harsh reality is you know it’s going to happen to you at some point.
So what you’ve got to do as a coach is make sure you don’t worry about how precarious a profession it is.
If you do that, then it’ll take your mind off what you’re doing, and that’s the best way to ensuring you could end up losing your job!