Everyone at Hull FC now knows if we do not perform we’re out of the team.
Peter (Gentle) said the other day we have 29 fit players to choose from for Monday night’s game with Wakefield Trinity.
With three months of the season to go, that is a big confidence booster for us all.
It also means we realise if we don’t hit the standards we’ll be dropped and that is a huge incentive for everyone.
We need to get a victory again as well as, after a great run, we’ve lost our last two games.
There’d be no better way to respond than against Wakefield in front of the TV cameras.
They have a few ex-Hull players in their ranks and, of course, Rich (Agar) as coach.
I’m sure it will be fiery but the main thing is we’re at home after two disappointing losses on the road at Perpignan and Castleford.
We knew what was coming at Cas. I know better than anyone what they can do on their own ground having started my career there and any time of year it’s hard down there.
But also they’d been away from Wheldon Road for seven weeks and it was Daryl Powell’s first home game in charge.
The heads and tails of it, though, was the fact that they out-enthused us; they ran really hard and tackled harder than us.
If any side does that you go a long way to winning the game.
Our skill levels weren’t great and that is something we have to change this week; when you look at the stats we’re about 12th in Super League for our offensive work compared to fifth for the defensive stuff.
Clearly, it is our defence that has got us to where we are and now we must work on that attack.
We should have some players returning on Monday like Gaz Ellis, Danny Tickle and Tom Briscoe but, when it comes to the game’s importance, we realise Wakefield are in a similar boat to us.
Though they’ve won two on the bounce they know they can’t slip up much more and will want a similar run as last year to surge into the play-off spots.
However, it’s imperative we get the two points. We’ve dropped too many in games we should have won this year.
The last time we played Wakefield on Easter Monday was actually the game which kick-started our season and set us off on that run of form.
We really needed the victory after what had happened against Hull KR on the Good Friday.
We weren’t perfect in that Trinity fixture by any stretch but we got the two points which is always tough over there.
They have plenty of dangerous players and we know it will be challenging again at the KC Stadium.
I’ll be back in Cas’ again soon for a charity boxing night my local club’s organising.
I’m not getting the gloves on myself – don’t think I’m allowed, honest! – but a lot of the coaches at Kippax ARLFC will be fighting each other to help Life For A Kid and the club itself too.
The charity is really big in Hull but the event at Castleford Civic Centre on August 17 will be the first time it’s moved out of the city.
We’ve got two kickboxers who are actually going to box instead and one of them – Chris Wray – was a British champion.
Anyone who knows about Life For A Kid will realise what a great cause it is while, as someone who coaches Under-3s to Under-5s at Kippax, I know amateur clubs can always do with a hand too.
Tickets are priced at £20 for standing and £30 VIP and it runs from 5-10pm.
Interview by Dave Craven