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“We’re not looking for sympathy” – Hull FC set to “toughen up” to break losing streak

Hull FC manager Tony Smith

Hull FC broke a seven-game losing streak in 2023 when they defeated Huddersfield Giants and Tony Smith will be hoping that the Black and Whites can end their current slump in similar fashion today.

The losing streak hasn’t quite reached seven for Smith’s side but four consecutive losses and six defeats in seven doesn’t make for good reading on the first quarter of the season.

Round Three against London Broncos was the sole win for Hull FC and even that game saw the team booed off the pitch with FC only just sneaking the win against the promoted side.

Hull FC have only scored 64 points in Super League and 28 came that day whilst London have only scored 60 and 24 came against FC, highlighting the major issues that Tony Smith’s side face.

Despite that, he’s outlined the plan to turn it around, informing BBC Humberside of the very simple strategy that will bring success: “Work harder, work harder, put your hand up, go front up, go watch it, go own it, go rectify it, work hard to fix it. There’s no secret formula, I keep saying this.

“There’s a formula in life that’s always been you work hard you become successful. That’s it. If you’re not prepared to work hard enough you won’t be successful.

“All those people out there that have been successful, they’ve had some miserable times to get there. They’ve all, they’ve had to work through it. That’s called resilience and developing resilience.”

“We’ve got to stop human nature”

Hull FC

Credit: Imago Images

Unfortunately for Hull FC and Tony Smith, ‘working harder’ and hoping that results eventually turn is something that’s far easier said than done, although he is well aware of that.

He continued by explaining: “Our confidence isn’t great. We’re not looking for sympathy, it is what it is. We’re not on fire at the moment, we haven’t been winning games, we’ve been conceding soft tries so it’s easy for you to lose confidence and make a mistake and put your head down or when something goes wrong, It’s human nature.

“We’ve just got to toughen up so when something goes wrong, that we don’t drop our heads and instead we work harder and fight harder, and when you do that you can compete. You can compete with anybody.”

One man who has backed them to compete with and even beat Huddersfield today is former England captain Sam Tomkins with the player-turned-pundit tipping the upset win.

Avoiding early tries and mistakes will be crucial if FC are to manage that and Smith continued to explain how the side’s current form has bred confidence issues that have turned minor errors into major collapses.

He noted: “Some of these guys are out of form and feeling bad about it so it doesn’t take much for some of them at the moment. Making a mistake or if something goes against them then their heads drop and that’s human nature. We’ve got to stop human nature from happening.

“We’ve got to work that out and get that determined and that positive that when those things happen they’re not going to affect us in a negative way. We’re still going through that process. I’m confident that we’ll get there.”

What injuries do Hull FC have?

Picture by Allan McKenzie/ – 14/08/2022 – Rugby League – Betfred Super League Round 23 – Hull FC v St Helens – MKM Stadium, Kingston upon Hull, England – Hull FC’s Jack Walker leaves the field injured against St Helens.

One thing that hasn’t made the season any easier for Hull FC is their huge injury list with young forward Nick Staveley being the latest to be added, as he was confirmed as out for the season following an ACL injury.

Smith confirmed that injuries have been a major hindrance but accepted that the excuse doesn’t wash at the highest level with the club donning a ‘next man up’ mentality.

“I think they’re up to 11 or 12 at the moment at any one time. I think we got down to 9 at one stage. That would challenge most squads. That would challenge most squads and some of who they are as well, but that’s irrelevant. Nobody wants to hear about all that. It’s whether you win or lose.

“We’re going to crack on and we’ve got to get to the point where whoever we put out there can handle it, and when we get to that as a squad, we know we’re on the right track.”

That’s seen Smith name young Logan Moy in the 21-man squad with the youngster potentially set to debut and follow in the footsteps of exciting talent Jack Charles who impressed in the Hull derby despite the defeat.

FC’s current injury list reads: Nick Staveley (ACL), Danny Houghton (Ribs), Jack Ashworth (Thumb), Carlos Tuimavave (hamstring), Jake Trueman (Achilles), Brad Fash (ankle), Mitieli Vulikijapani (knee), Jack Walker (hamstring) Kye Armstrong (shoulder) and Cobie Wainhouse (knee)

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