HUDDERSFIELD Giants vice-captain Brett Ferres insists the minor premiers can immediately shake off their latest play-offs let-down.
The League Leaders’ Shield winners lost a qualifying play-off 22-8 at home to Wigan Warriors on Thursday night leaving their pedigree as potential title winners again under the spotlight.
Huddersfield’s play-off record does not make easy reading with just two victories in 10 outings.
They now must contemplate an elimination tie at John Smith’s Stadium next Thursday against either ***Hull FC/Catalan Dragons*** or, if they win at St Helens tonight, Hull KR.
Having impressed so many with the manner in which they rose to the top of the table, Paul Anderson’s side struggled badly for any fluency in the relentless rain against the Challenge Cup holders and endured their first home loss since May.
Second-row Ferres admitted to the Yorkshire Post: “Wigan just played the conditions a lot better than us.
“They played their normal game, keeping their errors to a minimum which, in those sorts of matches, looking after the ball and respecting it gets you the outcome.
“We weren’t patient enough with our possession and we spilled way too much.”
The England international maintains, though, that there is nothing inherently wrong with the squad and anyone labelling them ‘chokers’ once more after years of underachieving would be foolish.
“We don’t listen to that,” said Ferres.
“We worry about what’s happening in-house and obviously Baloo (Anderson) will sit down with us, look at what happened and we’ll learn from it.
“We had a real good opportunity there to play well and give ourselves that week’s cushion but luckily we’ve got a second chance.
“Now it’s about regrouping and focusing for next Thursday.”
Victory would have seen Huddersfield earn a week off and move directly to within 80 minutes of a first-ever Grand Final appearance.
But now their season hangs on a knife-edge, something Ferres insists they can handle.
“We’re back at home and we want to right a few wrongs from this week,” added the former Castleford Tigers and Bradford Bulls forward.
“We’ll get back in training, work hard and focus on the job in hand and it’s knock-out football then.
“We know we have to handle the ball better. Without it you can’t score points and that’s what happened to us against Wigan.
“But we will improve for next week and we know we have to.”
Anderson, meanwhile, conceded: “It was the worst performance we’ve had for a long time. The Giants 2013 is not about one-out rugby. They asked more questions than we did. We took one or two short cuts and didn’t show a great deal of honesty at times. We weren’t great but that’s out of our system, so let’s move on.”
He had rested 13 of his players for the final game of the regular season at Bradford and added: “You could see Wigan were a bit more battle-hardened.
“We couldn’t win a tackle, they were rolling through us at times. It showed we needed a game. Whether it was the right decision to rest the players last week, only time will tell.”