After two disappointing Super League losses, how’s the mood in the camp ahead of what promises to be a tough home test against
in-form St Helens in the Challenge Cup on Sunday?
Everyone is obviously feeling very disappointed with the way things have been going.
So, in that sense, we feel the change in competition has come at just the right time.
The Challenge Cup is always an exciting competition, especially when you think what the prize is at the end of it.
You know if you win four games you’ll be playing in a final at Wembley, and that’s something every player wants to do.
But the last thing we’ll be doing is getting carried away, of course.
We know that to progress we face a huge hurdle in St Helens, who have started the season so positively.
And nobody needs to tell us we need to raise our game significantly if our challenges isn’t to end at that first hurdle.
I’m sure Browny (Saints’ former Giants boss Nathan Brown) will tell you they’ve not been at their best at times.
But they’ve still found a way to win, and that’s what we need to start doing.
All being well, being involved in the tie of the round and facing the form team in the competition right now is just what we need to help us
re-discover our best form.
And how important do you feel it is to put on a decent show, because the match is being shown to a national audience on the BBC?
To be honest, that means absolutely nothing to us at the moment.
If everyone is talking about trying to put on a show because the cameras are on us, then there’s something wrong.
Our focus is 100% on getting a decent performance and, hopefully, the win.
Being on TV is obviously secondary to that.
And we all remain 100% confident that we will make the improvements we need to.
Even though our last couple of performances haven’t been great, there’s no doubting we have a good tight-knit group here, who are all determined to work together to put it right.
There’s no sense of panic within the club. Just a collective desire to put things right.
This is just the start of your second year as a head coach. Is this the most challenging time you’ve experienced so far?
But it’s a good challenge and one I hope will stand me in good stead
further down the track.
It’s also a good challenge for the squad, too – many of whom were part of such a successful year last year.
It’s also a big test of character for everyone, as well.
I said earlier in the season that we were struggling to handle the higher expectations that were being placed on us.
We need to get to grips with that.
But, as a result, the position we find ourself in now means no-one is giving us a chance of doing anything again. We now find ourselves returning to the position where are backs are very firmly against the wall.
It means Saints will go into this weekend’s games as the firm favourites to progress, and we’re being written off.
That was a position that suited us very well last season, and hopefully it’ll prove the same again.
As I said, though, the key is making sure we start to put things right.
When you look at the stats from the Warrington game, it’s easy to see why we lost that game.
They had 150 plays in our half, and we had just 40 in theirs.
That was because we failed to respect the ball and complete our sets.
Get that right and we know how quickly things can change.
How pleased are you a deal has been struck for Peter Aspinall to join Championship club Sheffield Eagles on a month’s loan?
I’m very pleased for him.
What Peter needs is gametime and that’s what Mark Aston has promised him at the Eagles. In fact, he’ll play for them in the Challenge Cup against London Skolars this weekend.
Peter is obviously one of the players we allowed Batley to take on a dual registration, but on the few occasions he was given a shot, he unfortunately failed to do himself any real favours.
Batley coach John Kear has always been given the choice on who he wants to select and not take the
players he has to. The arrangement we have with him is he takes who he wants to.
And because John’s brought in a couple of players to strengthen his squad and Peter hasn’t done himself justice at Batley, this move to Sheffield is ideal. All being well, it’ll prove the move Peter really needs.