Salford v Hull: Radford on his guard as Red Devils recruit ‘advisor’ Sheens

Lee Radford Hull FC
Lee Radford Hull FC
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HULL FC head coach Lee Radford admits he does not know how Salford Red Devils opposite number Iestyn Harris will handle the arrival of Australian chief Tim Sheens at the crisis-torn club.

The Black and Whites head to Salford this evening looking for their second Super League win of the season.

However, their hosts have yet to pick up a point, have seen controversial ex-England second-row Gareth Hock earn a six-game ban and subsequently leave while star Kiwi full-back Kevin Locke is thought to be on the verge of a move to Scottish rugby union.

Furthermore, enigmatic owner Marwan Koukash had to explain his Twitter comments that he’d “had enough” after the pitiful 52-6 home loss to St Helens which prompted fears he was about to pull the plug on his investment.

Part of that explanation saw the millionaire racehorse owner reveal that Sheens will be coming over in an “advisory” capacity for three weeks and will attend tonight’s game.

Radford, who was a team-mate of Harris at Bradford Bulls, admitted: “They have a new coach coming in Saturday in Tim Sheens and I don’t know what that does to the current coach or where his head space is with that.

“That’s the politics of their club to fix up. But with all the rumours of crisis meetings and so on, we know they will be energised early.

“What it guarantees is a response early in the game. How we start the game and how we approach the game is really important for us.”

If Hull are serious about building this season and securing a top-eight spot, tonight’s game is just the sort of fixture they must win.

Too often in the past they have come unstuck in such matches and endured defeats that have set them back, often doing irrevocable damage.

Radford saw his side lose 35-22 on their last visit to Salford in July as they slipped all the way down to a woeful 11th-place finish.

But he said: “If we perform, we will win. We are focusing on our performance, how quick out of the blocks they will be and what we need to do.”

Radford is delighted the club’s KC Stadium home was awarded a Test match earlier this week.

England will host New Zealand on Sunday, November 1 in the second game of a three-Test series with the reigning Four Nations champions. “It is a no-brainer bringing Test rugby back to Hull,” he said, after England faced Fiji at the KC in the 2013 World Cup.

Meanwhile, Hull have been rocked by news centre Steve Michaels has been implicated with the drug scandal at his former club Gold Coast Titans.

Five players from the Australian NRL outfit are suspended over allegations of supplying or possessing cocaine, and served with court notices.

Reports in the Australian media yesterday say Queensland’s Crime and Corruption Commission have an arrest warrant for Michaels on 10 counts of supplying dangerous substances.

The 28-year-old joined Hull from the Titans at the start of this season and debuted in the 7-6 loss to Warrington.