Brown desperate to put down marker
Double-chasing Huddersfield Giants will face an acid test of their trophy-winning credentials when they host Wigan Warriors in a Stobart Super League table-topping clash at the Galpharm Stadium tomorrow.
The Giants, who beat Wigan on the opening day of the season, are below the leaders only on points difference and, like the Warriors, are also in the last four of the Carnegie Challenge Cup.
But Huddersfield have faltered in the big games in the past and Brown admits the doubts will persist until they break their duck.
“Until we actually get our hands on a trophy with this group of players, negative or pessimistic people will say we’re not good enough,” he said.
“The reality is that we’re a fair bit better team than we have been in the last three years but we have to maintain that.
“I’m very confident in the squad of players we’ve got. I feel we have a good balance.”
A ninth successive victory in all competitions would take Wigan two points clear and, although finishing positions no longer determine the title, coach Shaun Wane is desperate to get his hands on the League Leaders’ Shield which eluded them last season.
“It’s a good feeling (to be top),” he said. “We’re halfway through the season so there’s a long way to go and we don’t pat ourselves on the back here.
“We’ve got to keep our head down and keep on working. But top spot means a lot to me because I’m old-fashioned and, when I played, that was the main thing.
“It’s not held in high esteem by people now but for me personally it would be great for us to be minor premiers this year.
“Make no bones about it, this is a game we want to win to go two points clear and that is hugely important.”
In tomorrow’s other game, Bradford Bulls will be aiming to maintain their impressive away record when they take on Salford City Reds at Barton.
The Bulls have won five of their six league games on their travels this season but were beaten 38-18 at home by the Reds in March.
“That’s been spoken about this week,” said Bradford coach Mick Potter.
“It’s not so much revenge but about performing at our best and I don’t think we made the best account of ourselves the last time.
“They’re a team looking to climb the ladder. They’re a bit better than where they sit on the table.”
Salford have slipped out of the play-off places on the back of five consecutive defeats and need to complete the double to keep in touch with the eighth-placed Bulls.
While the Reds are still without impressive newcomer Shannon McPherson through injury, Potter is able to field an unchanged team for the first time this year.
“It certainly gives us some stability,” he said. “It also sends a message out to a couple of players who are fit again that there is no easy route back into the team.”