16th February 2017, 12:31 | Huddersfield

Ferguson looks to future as Huddersfield prepare for Salford

Ferguson looks to future as Huddersfield prepare for Salford

Scotland international Dale Ferguson admits he got his timing all wrong when he opted to leave Huddersfield Giants at the end of the 2013 season.

The former Wakefield Trinity back-row forward had just helped the Giants end an 81-year wait to get their hands on the League Leaders' Shield when he opted to make the move to Bradford Bulls.

While Huddersfield slipped backwards in his absence - and were last season forced to fight for their survival in the Super 8s Qualifiers - Ferguson was a part of the Bulls team that suffered an even more spectacular fall from grace as they were relegated and eventually liquidated.

By the time the former world club champions went bust, Ferguson had already secured a move back to Huddersfield under new coach Rick Stone and, after making an impressive return to Betfred Super League in the Giants' opening 28-16 win at Widnes Vikings last Friday, he is looking forward to the visit of Salford Red Devils on Thursday.

"It was hard leaving the Giants when I did but I went to Bradford when they were in a strong position," he said. "I didn't know those things were going to happen. It was a downward spiral.

"But that's all in the past and now I'm a Giants player again. It was very enjoyable last Friday, especially with getting the win."

Still only 28, Ferguson returned to his old club on a high following Scotland's impressive showing in the 2016 Four Nations Series and admits having four of his old Bradford team-mates follow him to the John Smith's Stadium also helped him settle back in.

"It was quite easy to settle in," he said. "There are quite a few familiar faces and they brought five boys over from Bradford as well.

"It was good being around the club all pre-season. Rick has trimmed me down a little bit. Conditioning has been class, they have looked after me.

"Obviously coming from the Four Nations, it's been enjoyable, getting my confidence back. Hopefully that showed in the game against Widnes.

"I had confidence that I could come back (into Super League) but I didn't want to let people down so I put pressure on myself."

Ferguson's old Bradford team-mates Paul Clough, Lee Gaskell and Alex Mellor all made their debuts in the win over the Vikings and earned the praise of their new coach. 

"I was pretty happy with the new boys," Stone said. "They all contributed really well and they will be more comfortable for the run."

The visit of Salford, who went down 26-16 at home to defending champions Wigan Warriors in their opening game, in the first of three successive home fixtures gives Huddersfield the chance to get off to a flying start but Stone is determined not to underestimate the Red Devils.

"Wigan were pretty clinical and the score at half-time probably didn't reflect the difference between the teams," he said. "I think they're a dangerous team, they can score some points.

"You'll find that the teams that got beat last week will be pretty desperate to get their first win on the board.

"You can't win the competition in the first six weeks but you can make it hard for yourself if you don't position yourself with a number of wins, and the way you play can certainly change if you're playing for your life at the back end of the year."

Thursday's game is a round 11 fixture which has been brought forward because of the involvement of both clubs in the fifth round of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup in April.

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