Welcome back after what, on the outside, may appear to have been just more of the same, but from the inside I can tell you was very different.

Whilst we were obviously disappointed to have lost the game against the Bulls, I don’t think I have ever been in such a positive dressing room post-match on the back of conceding so many points.

The impact of Brian McDermott on the squad has been huge – even in just six days.

I know people will look at that and think – okay so why did we lose then – well for starters Brian has never said he is a miracle worker – either to me or to the players!

What he did say, right from session one, was that he would give the players the tools they needed to get the job done. The rest is up to them.

That may come across as very simplistic but if you think about it, then it is true.

He can’t go on the field with them, he can’t lead by example out on the pitch but what he is doing is instilling a mindset and a belief that will come good for us.

That was evident post-match on Sunday. Naturally the players were not happy about losing but there was a genuine positivity around the dressing room that we have started something good that will get better and better in a short space of time.

Some things had been changed about our style of play that Big Mac accepted had cost us some points in the match but he, and the players, are fully aware that is because we needed to change some things for the longer-term benefit and again, that will pay off in future matches.

With no game this weekend due to the Challenge Cup final he has been able to really work the players hard, getting across more of his philosophy and how things must be done.

There is a definite change in training now and the players are as one, all wanting the same outcomes.

By the time we play Whitehaven a week on Sunday we will be better again and will have had chance to work on things in training ready to implement them in a match situation.

For me as chairman it is great to see what is happening and everybody has a renewed determination and focus – we are all learning!

I know I have spoken quite a bit about the continued impact of Covid recently, but it really is having a detrimental effect on rugby league.

More and more matches are being called off – more than when the Super League returned last year for example, and that in itself is a stark reminder that we are nowhere near out of the woods yet.

Matches are now being called off in League One and the 1895 Cup final at Wembley is also in doubt after an outbreak at Featherstone.

Imagine that – your first visit to the hallowed turf for goodness knows how many years in jeopardy because of Covid infections – you would be devastated.

As Covid officer for the club, the players must be sick of my constant reminders about social distancing and wearing masks but whilst they are no doubt fed up with it, I am sure they know it remains the right thing to protect us all and to enable us to continue to play matches.

With lockdown easing in general society, I am sure fans will presume that will therefore also apply to what we have to do.

Well, in fact it is the opposite. As people think they can do more or less what they want after next Monday, we in the professional game, have to be even more careful.

The Rugby Football League has consistently said that, as cases rise in the general population then cases will rise within the game, an effect we are seeing right now.

Fingers crossed we can keep on top of it all because the reduced capacities we have had, since fans were allowed back, have continued to impact on the club’s financial position as our costs are not proportionally reduced sadly.

Keep your support up for the lads who are working very hard to get the results we all want.