Stone: Huddersfield have to get tougher

Huddersfield coach Rick Stone says the Giants need to improve their toughness and resolve for the 2017 season.

Hudderdfield endured a difficult 2016, finishing in the Middle 8s and only narrowly avoiding the Milion Pound Game.

It was a far cry from the year before when the Giants finished in the top four.

Looking ahead to next year, Stone told the club website: “The first ten weeks have given me a little insight into what the playing group are like and what we need, that will give us a good idea about how to get ourselves ready for pre-season and next year.

“We need a little more time to embed principles and structures and we will have that now and hopefully be a more rounded and more consistent team next year.

“We have got to get tougher. We can lay some foundations in our pre-season training and you can improve players’ resolve, their work ethic and wanting to play for each other, so we have got to improve on those things.

“As the weeks went on, particularly in those Middle 8s at times we were good at it and at times we weren’t.

“The last two games, I would suggest we showed some good resolve, I don’t think we got enough credit for our win against Hull KR, basically we spent the whole second half defending our line and scored the one point we needed and we saw some good resolve.”

Stone is expecting most of his squad to be back for the start of pre-season in mid-November.

“Some of the younger boys will be back in the first week in November, then the bulk of the squad will be back in the middle of November,” he said.

“There are a few boys in the internationals in the Four Nations so we wish them well in that contest which will be tough.

“Aaron Murph has had a shoulder operation and Tommy Symonds is getting his knee operated on and that’s probably about it so we are not too bad in that regard.

“Murph has already had his shoulder operation and Tommy will be in the next day or two.”

Stone praised the influence of his coaching staff in Chris Thorman and Luke Robinson.

Chris Thorman has been great, we spent some long hours together and he has been great in how he’s given me an insight into our players and into the opposition and what other teams are good and bad at,” he said.

“Obviously, Robbo had a fair bit to do with that as well but Chris in particular was outstanding and you can see that he has some pride in his team and also wants to see his team do well.

“When you come to a club like this you have got to respect the people that are already here and understand the job they do and also assess the quality of job they do.

“Both of those boys have been good and I am happy going forward to take them with me.”

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