Halifax RLFC: Raise your game: coach

HALIFAX boss Matt Calland has warned his players they will need to raise their game when Super League neighbours Huddersfield arrive at the Shay for tomorrow's Infirmary Cup clash.

The Giants will dispatch their usual second-string line up to Calderdale for the pre season encounter, with head coach Nathan Brown assuming a watching brief as new Academy boss Paul Cook takes the reins.

But with highly-rated Cumbrian recruits Greg McNally and Shaun Lunt both starting the game alongside former Shay loanee Joe Walsh, and two former Fax favourites on the backroom staff in the form of Karl Harrison and Anthony Farrell, Calland is expecting the Giants to present a considerable challenge.

And while the Fax boss, himself a former Giants player, was playing it cool after the low-key 40-24 Boxing Day loss at Featherstone, he has made it clear he expects improvement tomorrow.

"We need to change our attitude for this game," said Calland.

"If we go out there with the same approach we had at Featherstone, we will end up getting embarrassed, there is no doubt about that.

"Just look at their teamsheet and backroom staff and you can see what's coming.

"They've got Joe Walsh playing his first game, so he will want to show up well.

"They've got a young coach in Paul Cook taking his first game, and Faz and Karl Harrison in there against their former club as well.

"They will be coming to win and they will be very, very tough."

Calland was finalising his squad today, but was likely to add prop Frank Watene and playmaker Mick Govin to the selection that faced Rovers, with utility player Dwayne Barker dropping out due to off-field commitments.

Govin will be kicking off his latest comeback after yet another bout of serious shoulder surgery, with the former Leigh player likely to join the queue of candidates for the stand off role as well as providing cover at hooker.

"I am not sure how we will use Mick yet," said Calland.

"He can play both half back roles and hooker, so we'll see how things go.

"The main thing is that he comes through unscathed."

Super League clubs are well placed to withstand the economic recession in 2009, according to Rugby Football League chief executive Nigel Wood.

"I think we can move into the new year with confidence without in any way being complacent," said Wood, the former Shay CEO who took Halifax into a CVA in 2000.


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