Brett Hodgson says his side must use moments of defensive pressure in the game against Toulouse to galvanize his side.
With just one win in their last seven games, the Black & Whites head to the Stade Ernest-Wallon for the first time on Friday desperate for a victory to reignite their season and continue their hunt for an end-of-season play-off spot.
Following heavy defeats to Castleford and Wigan in recent weeks, Hodgson explained that his side must ensure that they are most desperate for the victory than bottom-placed Toulouse, and find energy in the tough defensive moments of the game, just like they did earlier in the season.
Speaking to hullfc.com, Hodgson said: “We’ve had some conversations as a group this week, and we understand where we’re at but, also what it takes to get out of this position we are in.
“I’m very confident in the direction we’re going is the right one, but we need to scrape a victory based on effort to get us going.
On Hull’s recent poor form, he continued: “Nobody enjoys losing games. We were solid in the first-half against Castleford but it slipped in the second-half.
“There are some reasons that played a part in that, but we aren’t making excuses. We need to work harder and be better in those key moments of the game, and not let those moments happen again.
“We need an eighty minute performance and we can’t hide that.“
And Hodgson explained that his side need to return to enjoying defending, as they did earlier in the season, adding: “We have an issue rescuing momentum when it goes against us, and succumbing to that pressure. When you’re in these scenarios, we need to understand that we need to get back to enjoying defending and gaining some energy in those moments.
“We’re failing in those moments to often and too easily, and we’re working to rectify that. There will be moments in the game against Toulouse where we will be under pressure, and we need to use that to galvanise us.“
Looking ahead to the fixture against Toulouse: “The travel, conditions, and going up a team that are desperate are all factors that make this game difficult, but we need to make sure we are more desperate for that win than they are.
“Toulouse are a different team at home to what they are away, and we know that if we’re near our best, we’re confident of a strong performance.“
Hodgson confirmed that the Black & Whites will be boosted by the addition of new signing Will Smith for this week’s fixture after the utility man arrived at the club last week.
“Will Smith will come into contention this week – he has been excellent in training so far and jumped in like he’s been here for a long time. He’s showed some good glimpses so we’re hoping that he will perform well for us.
“There’s a number of options as to where he can slot in – he will contribute in some way, and we’ll decide where that is throughout the week.
“He is a good rugby player, and has the ability to create opportunities for us. His impact has been really positive since he came in.”
Hodgson also provided an injury update on members of the Black & White squad.
“This week will come too soon for Chris Satae; because he is a big man, it’s taking a long time for the swelling to go down, and we need it to go down some more before her starts running again. We’re hoping he might be back next weekend.
“Manu Ma’u is slow and steady at the moment – he won’t feature this weekend, and again it depends on how he progresses at the end of this week to see whether he’ll be involved next week.
“Josh Griffin has another scan on Wednesday; his initial one showed a lot of bleeding so he requires another for a bit more clarity. But he’s not feeling too bad – it’s just a matter of if there’ a tear in his quad or not.
He added: “Unfortunately, there is no light at the end of the tunnel for some of our longer-term injured players at the moment.”