Ian Watson backed to find a winning formula at Huddersfield Giants

AS someone who has worked with Ian Watson before, Josh Jones has every faith that the Huddersfield Giants head coach will get things right for the club.

Giants head coach Ian Watson.   Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe
Giants head coach Ian Watson. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

They are nursing a fourth successive defeat in Betfred Super League and still await a first win following Thursday’s 18-10 loss against champions St Helens.

There had been such expectancy on Huddersfield this term after Watson was brought in from Salford Red Devils, where he had reached Old Trafford and Wembley in the last two campaigns.

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He made a raft of high-profile signings, including Great Britain back-row Jones from Hull FC, Melbourne Storm centre Ricky Leutele and former England second-row Joe Greenwood, but has still yet to get off the mark.

However, despite missing five first-teamers from their squad, they defended brilliantly for much of the game against Saints, who continued their 100 per cent winning start to the campaign.

Jones, 27, was part of Watson’s Salford side that upset the odds to reach the 2019 Grand Final so understands fully the way the former Wales scrum-half works and what he demands.

“It is going to take a bit of time for everyone to get used to and understand Watto’s style of play and his philosophies,” the former Saints star told The Yorkshire Post.

“But everybody knows it’s right what he’s doing. We weren’t far off on Thursday night.

Giants' Josh Jones is tackled by St Helens's Lachlan Coote on Thursday night. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

“We showed with our defence and the way we defended against Saints for long periods, what we can do. We are getting there and in the next couple of weeks we will come good.

“It’s taking time for everybody to get used to it but it will be worth it.”

Huddersfield would have been expected to crumble in the second period against Saints given how much defensive work they had to do to go in just 12-0 down at the break.

However, they continued their trend of improving in the second half, scoring tries from Chris McQueen and Jermaine McGillvary to run the champions close.

Jones, who also worked with Watson when he was a Lions assistant in 2019, added: “It took time when I was at Salford.

“But 100 per cent it worked when we got there.

“At Huddersfield, there’s a new squad and a new culture being put in place. The lads are working hard and getting to grips with what’s expected of them.

“We’re not a million miles off. We’ll get back to training this week and look to get it right for Leeds next Sunday.”

They host West Yorkshire rivals Rhinos next weekend before facing Saints again for a place in the Challenge Cup semi-finals, Huddersfield’s sole win so far being a third round victory over Leigh Centurions.

Watson insists he knew he would not be able to get instant results with Giants.

“People think it’s dead easy; that you can just buy players, put them in and you should automatically win,” he said.

“You can’t. It takes time. It takes time for me to understand the players and know the players. And you only truly know that when you’re playing.

“That’s how you figure out which players are the right players.”

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