It’s Brett Hodgson’s first derby game in charge of Hull FC, as Hull KR come to town at the weekend.
But, the former Warrington and Huddersfield fullback is definitely wary of the challenges that the Robins will serve up, given their recent form.
Hodgson knows what makes Rovers boss Tony Smith tick, given he served under him for three years and he will try to use some of that knowledge gained to get one over on him.
“We’ve got to slow the ruck down and Smith likes that second phase to ask questions of a static defensive line,” Hodgson said.
“I had three years under Tony here and he’s got Hull KR playing well.
“I’ve taken some things that I’ve learnt from him as well as other coaches I have worked under.
“I speak to Tony whenever we see each other – I learnt a lot of good things off him, but it’s going to be a different dynamic this weekend.”
Hodgson will welcome back some of his injured stars for the crunch clash.
“We will get a number of players back this week, so there’ll be a a couple of headaches around selection and that’s what we want as a coach.
“That includes those out with COVID – Masi Matongo unfortunately was hit with COVID so he’s coming back into training now and he will be sort of nearing fitness at the back end of this week.”
The Hull boss is keen to see his side go into the derby refreshed after a stunning victory over Catalans last weekend.
“The season has been going and we’ve had a period where we haven’t reached our potential. but now is the chance to refresh and have another focus.
“It starts this weekend against a team that is playing well in what is the biggest game that both teams have played this season.
“I’m confident should we play to our potential that we can make it into the playoffs at the end of the season.”
Hodgson has revealed that the pre-game excitement is being felt around the city.
“The atmosphere is already building – we can sense that in and amongst the group.
“People are talking in town about the game, we’ve got a little bit of an underdog tag which isn’t the worst thing in the world.
“I was actually getting a coffee and someone said to me “go the Robins” and I wondered if anyone put something in it!
“Everyone has always been respectful but we will have to see if that changes this week – we need to use the emotion involved to inspire us.”