HALIFAX vice captain Jim Gannon has said the club’s players have embraced football consultant Brian Noble’s gruelling ‘tough love’ regime ahead of Sunday’s Co-operative Championship date with Sheffield Eagles.
Coach Matt Calland confirmed last week that Noble, the former Great Britain coach drafted in to troubleshoot after Fax’s disastrous start to the league season, had presided over a significant ramping up of the training workload.
Both of Fax’s opening sessions with Noble lasted until darkness fell, a pattern that continued this week, with Gannon also claiming an increase in quality as well as quantity.
“There is no easy way out of the place we are in and if that’s what needs doing then we will do it,” said Gannon.
“It’s been tough: the tempo is up, the contact is up.
“Brian’s track record says it all: he has coached on the world stage and got the results he wanted.
“He made a massive difference in the space of a week and I am sure that will continue right through the club going forward.
“We are training equally as hard at the moment as I have in my Super League experience, and you’ve got to get up at 7am the next day and go to work.
“They are sacrifices we have to make though. We as a group want to get to where we want to be.
“If that means spending two or three hours extra on the training field each week then so be it.”
Fax reaped a tentative reward in the 30-18 defeat at high-flying Featherstone last weekend, claiming a bonus point and raising morale with a far more tenacious defensive performance.
And Gannon believes the 2010 Champions, who have won just once in eight league starts, can still rise from their current second-from-bottom spot to claim an unlikely play off berth, although he admits the clock is ticking.
“I think people know that it is now or never if we are going to make the six,” said Gannon. “Featherstone was a step in the right direction even if it wasn’t quite as big as we would have liked.
“We are only a couple of wins away from being in the mix and if we win most of our games we will get there.
“We will give it our best shot.”