Ian Watson has warned his Huddersfield Giants squad against complacency amid concern over their inconsistent form.
Their defeat at Watson’s former club Salford Red Devils on Saturday was a fourth in seven matches.
Though Huddersfield remain third in the Super League table, exceeding most expectations for the campaign, their coach says they can’t rest on their laurels and be satisfied with what they have achieved so far.
“One week we’re great at things, then the next we’re inconsistent,” grumbled Watson, who was without Josh Jones against Salford because of a groin issue.
“On our run to the Challenge Cup Final, we were consistent each week and that’s how you get success. We’ve just started to fall off.
“(I don’t know) whether it’s because we’ve got a lot of young lads in there and we’re falling in love with ourselves, or we’re just sat waiting for the play-offs. But if you do that, you’re in trouble.
“While everyone is saying we’re doing well and improving, you always want more. We’ve got to want more as a team and a club.”
Huddersfield’s long-term ambitions were shown again last week with the signing of Harry Rushton for next season, as well as the retention of Chris McQueen and Ashton Golding.
Rushton has signed a three-year contract following his release from Canberra Raiders, where he made three NRL appearances.
The capture of the highly-rated 20-year-old forward, who made one Super League appearance for Wigan Warriors in 2020 before moving to Australia, was hailed as an “outstanding signing” by Watson.
“As soon as I knew he was available I wanted to speak to him and tell him what we were all about,” said the Giants coach.
“I’ve been watching his games playing in the NSW Cup. I said to Richard (Thewlis, Huddersfield managing director) that he would be great to get if he ever becomes available.
“I got a phone call saying that he was keen on coming home to be nearer his family. We had a Zoom call. I explained to him where we wanted to go to and how we would achieve that.
“He’s a good, young, English forward who has plenty of ball-playing ability. He’s got the ability to carry the ball, defends well and he’s been well-schooled.”
McQueen, this year’s Lance Todd Trophy winner, has signed a one-year extension while Golding will stay at Huddersfield for two more seasons.
“Ashton Golding is an ace player and not just on the field but he adds so much more around the team, and we’ve seen the impact he can have when he’s on the field,” said Watson.
“As for Chris McQueen, we’ve been talking about keeping him for a while, so to get it done is fantastic for everyone, again not just his ability on the field but the winning mentality he brings is exactly what we want in this squad.”
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