Watson refusing to panic

Huddersfield Giants coach Ian Watson says trust and patience are key factors as he works to propel his side up the Super League standings.

Four games into the campaign, the Giants still have a zero win percentage after defeats by Hull, Catalans, Hull KR and, most recently St Helens, who claimed an 18-10 victory at the John Smith’s Stadium on Thursday.

Huddersfield host Leeds on Sunday and will have second rower Joe Greenwood available after suspension, and possibly centres Leroy Cudjoe and Ricky Leutele back after injury, although Jake Wardle will remain sidelined.

Much is expected of Watson after his success of the last two seasons at Salford, his description of Huddersfield as a top-four side in waiting on his appointment in November and the arrival of a string of new signings.

And he is refusing to panic, insisting there are signs of progress from a team whose sole success this term was against Leigh in the Challenge Cup third round.

Huddersfield finished tenth out of twelve in 2019 and seventh out of eleven last year, when they lost their last five matches.

“There’s always a process to change things,” insists Watson.

“People lose their heads and start trying to chase things drastically, but it’s not about that, it’s about continuity. You’ve got to build.

“It’s baby steps really, a baby doesn’t just get up and walk as soon as it’s born, it has to build the foundations before being successful.

“It’s the same in rugby. People think it’s dead easy, that you can just buy players, put them in and you should automatically win.

“But it takes time for me to know and understand the players and you only truly get that when you’re playing.

“Because of Covid, our pre-season had interruptions and we had to go through things differently.

“It’s only when you start playing that you figure out which players are the right players.

“What we’re trying to do is create a team and that was more of a team performance against Saints.

“It’s moving in the right direction, obviously. You want to get the wins, which helps with confidence, but we can be proud of what the group did.”

The above content is also available in the regular weekly edition of League Express, on newsstands every Monday in the UK and as a digital download. Click here for more details.