Langley wishes former Bradford Bulls team-mate Baloo all the best - apart from tomorrow! (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Jamie Langley wishes former Bradford Bulls team-mate Baloo all the best - apart from tomorrow!
When Nathan Brown was ushered out of Huddersfield last month after a disastrous run of results, Paul Anderson found himself thrust into the spotlight earlier than expected.
The former assistant coach, scheduled to take over at the end of the year, was facing a mountainous task.
The Giants were struggling for confidence and wobbling alarmingly.
The early signs for the former Bradford prop, who along with fellow front-rowers Brian McDermott, Joe Vagana and Stuart Fielden famously formed the Bulls’ "awesome foursome", were not good.
In Anderson’s first game in charge, the Giants were badly beaten on their own turf by Wakefield.
Seven days later, St Helens put almost 50 points on them at Langtree Park.
But they have since won their past two outings against Catalan Dragons and Salford to breathe new life into a campaign that threatening to peter out.
That is testament to the influence of Anderson, who is now plotting against his erstwhile employers this weekend.
Castleford-born Anderson, 40, enjoyed eight seasons at Bradford before leaving for St Helens in 2005.
“I used to travel with Baloo when I first started at Bradford and we had a good few laughs along the way,” recalled Jamie Langley , the only current Bulls player to have lined up alongside Anderson in red, amber and black.
“I don’t really see him that much anymore but I’ve been in contact with him on the odd occasion.
“I’ve been really happy for him that he’s managed to get the job at Huddersfield.
“I think he’ll do fantastically well there because he’s got a great temperament for coaching.
“Although he was a prop forward during his playing days, he’s got a really smart rugby brain on his shoulders.
“He’s quite an analytical person and I’m sure he will do a great job at Huddersfield.
“After the uncertainty over what was happening with Nathan Brown, Baloo has stepped in and steadied the ship.
“He seems to have given them their confidence back and it’s good to see him doing well in his new career.”
Langley, though, will be wishing his old team-mate nothing but the worst this weekend.
The Bulls can ill afford any slip-ups if they end a traumatic campaign in the play-off places.
After tomorrow's West Yorkshire derby at Huddersfield, the Bulls face Hull FC at home and Catalan away.
Langley, who has enjoyed a fine campaign and scored two superb tries during last weekend’s vital win over Hull KR, accepts there is little margin for error.
“Every game now is a huge game for us,” he said.
“We’ve got three games left and it could the last three games we spend together as a group.
“We can’t afford to look any further than this week.
“We’re essentially treating these games as play-off matches and we know that they’re not going to be easy.
“Huddersfield, Hull and Catalan Dragons are all top sides so I believe we have a tougher run-in than some of the teams that are around us.
“With everything else going on around the club, the one thing that we’ve got is our rugby, which can take your mind off things at least for a little while.
“We just need to focus all our energies into this week’s game.”