OLIVER Russell knows exactly what Huddersfield coach Ian Watson goes through every week through his life as a Saint.
The Giants’ half back spends his spare time helping out boyhood club Oldham St Annes in their National Conference League campaign.
Yesterday he was on the touchline at Bentley in South Yorkshire, as he passes on the benefit of his Super League expertise.
And you can be sure there will be no mouthing off to the referee as his day job sees Huddersfield try to avenge two-point losses to Wigan and St Helens at Salford.
“I’m feeling Watto’s pain,” said Russell, who saw a 28-12 victory. “Now I kind of understand it.
“But one of the reasons I’m doing it is to get an understanding of the whole game, not just the playing aspect.
“I’m learning a lot from coaching. It’s a no brainer really. If I’ve got feed time, I might as well give back to the club that allowed me to start playing.
“When I go to training, I’ve said to the players, ‘I’ve not come to waste my time with you. I want to win games.’
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“And I‘m quite a chilled out person anyway, so it’s not in me to get mad. I’d rather speak to a player one on one if they’ve made a mistake or if it’s a ref, I’ll just ask them a question.
“It’s the first time I’ve ever done any coaching and I’m really enjoying it, even though it’s a bigger role than I thought it would be.
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“We all mix it up but I take a bit of the lead on attack and I’m at the games while my schedule allows, I’ve not missed one yet.
“And I was at Bentley yesterday. I got back home, chilled out and got ready for today.”
Huddersfield go to Salford today hoping to show lessons are being learned, lessons from consecutive 14-12 losses to Wigan and St Helens.
But Russell, 24, believes he would rather have examples like that to call on as they go for glory.
He added: “I’d rather be in a situation like that than getting tonked every week. We’re not worrying, we’ve played Wigan and St Helens, probably number one and two in the league.
“We know we can go with the best teams. We just need to crispen things up or we just lack concentration for a minute or so and that hits us at the end.
“We’ve put both in a really difficult position in the game. There were a few errors off kicks against Wigan – if they didn’t happen, we’d have won that game.
“If we didn’t have a lapse of concentration like we did that allowed Konrad Hurrell to score an easy try, we’d have won that one.
“It’s those little margins that are costing us and Salford will be one of our biggest tests of the year. We’ll know a lot about us from the result, we’re going in with a play-off mentality and we don’t want to lose three in a row.”
Watson, who returns to his former club, is expected to have maverick Jake Connor in his side after coming off the bench as he returned from injury.
And Russell told SunSport having him adds something more alongside Tui Lolohea and Will Pryce.
He said: “We’ve quite a good mix in our spine with Nathan Peats and I being more controlling players, then you have your mavericks like Tui, Will and Jake.
“They can just make something out of nothing. When they see what they want to do, they express themselves and want to take their opportunities.”