Saturday’s defeat to Middlesbrough was incredibly disappointing for everyone.
We wanted to focus on both the league and the cup, but this defeat ends our hopes of doing just that.
They came with a very specific game-plan and it worked for them.
We weren’t able to play to our plan at all and fair play to Middlesbrough, they stuck to the task and deserved to win the game.
Losing young James Leach to a horrific injury didn’t help our cause.
He’s a big part of what we do, he’s influential on the pitch, a big part of our pack and we missed him.
Following the disappointment of going out of the Shield, we need to bounce back on Saturday at Bradford Salem.
They are two places behind us in the league and always represent a tough challenge.
Salem have a big pack and will no doubt try to take us on in the forwards, so we need to meet that challenge.
Having Phil Watson back with us will be a huge boost, particularly with us missing Leachy for a long period.
Saturday will be the first time I’ll play with Phil, I’ve played against him when he was at Castleford and I know how much the guys are looking forward to having him back.
We need to learn from the mistakes we made on Saturday heading into this weekend’s game and it’s crucial we do that as we have a pretty tough fixture list coming up.