HULL KR assistant coach Chris Chester has urged his side to deliver the consistency that has eluded them for so long and remind prospective investors just what is on offer at the East Yorkshire club.
Craig Sandercock’s side head to Huddersfield Giants tomorrow desperately seeking to build on the positives of last weekend’s hard-fought success over St Helens.
On their previous visit to Huddersfield last June they won 46-26, recording a fourth successive victory, yet they have strung together consecutive wins only once since then and are constantly battling for rhythm.
Off the pitch, long-time chairman Neil Hudgell declared last Sunday that he and vice-chairman Rob Crossland will no longer fund Rovers with their usual benevolence come 2014 and – feeling they cannot compete with Super League’s elite in the current state – admitted he was seeking someone to take over the vast financial outlay.
It came on the back of an embarrassing Easter Monday 84-6 record defeat to Wigan Warriors and brought understandable concerns for the club’s supporters although Hudgell has since, reportedly, already had five potential investors show an interest.
Chester, who played on both sides of the city after starting his career with Halifax, told the Yorkshire Post: “Neil’s the chairman and has been for a lot of years now.
“But he’s a fan first and is just as frustrated as myself, Craig and the spectators are.
“Yet there’s only so much money Neil can put into the club. He’s already put a hell of a lot of that into Rovers and has got to be doing it for the right reasons. We’ve no qualms with that.
“He’s been great for me as a player and as a coach.
“He’s always been very supportive of the club and he’s now just looking for some fresh investment.
“Hopefully someone comes along but I’m sure he’ll never see the club go short.
“We can’t, though, afford to just keep relying on people like Neil and Rob Crossland to keep underpinning the club.”
Chester, who retired after suffering a serious neck injury with Rovers in 2008, believes there is plenty of potential waiting to be fulfilled at Craven Park after overcoming the trauma of that shambles against Wigan.
When asked how he rebuilds confidence after such a display, the 34-year-old – who played at Wigan for three seasons before joining Hull FC – admitted: “It is pretty difficult.
“It is still in the back of my mind now just talking about it.
“It leaves you demoralised and it left me questioning what I’m doing as a coach, whether I was doing the right things.
“But we asked for a response and we got a good one with two points against a pretty good St Helens team.
“We’d been down in the dumps the previous few days and, truthfully, we’re still hurting a bit now but the win against St Helens certainly lifted the mood in the camp.
“Now we have to go out and do it against Huddersfield.
“They’re the form team at the minute with Wigan, have a great pack and a great kicking game as well in Danny Brough so we’re going to have to step up again from last week but we’ll be ready.
“We’ve struggled with consistency this year and we want to make sure we put a good performance in this Sunday.”
For all their irregular form – six wins and five losses – Rovers remain in the crucial play-off places, sitting eighth yet not too far adrift of tomorrow’s second-placed opponents. “We’re still in there but we’ve spoken about it quite a bit in training and video sessions how we’re just not consistent enough,” added Chester, who became Rovers assistant, initially, for Justin Morgan in 2009 after a short time in charge of Castleford’s academy.
“It’s not just this season but probably the last couple of seasons we’ve had that problem.
“We seem to be able to pick ourselves up for the so-called bigger sides and come up short against the so-called lesser ones.
“That’s the consistency we’ve been talking about and we now have got to make sure we play well every week.”
If they can do that, it will certainly make it more likely that those potential investors will part with their cash. However, Hull KR’s chance tomorrow have been hampered by a lengthening injury list.
The versatile Graeme Horne is ruled out for two months after undergoing surgery on a fractured cheekbone suffered against Saints.
The robust Evarn Tuimavave picked up a calf injury in that game, too, and could be missing for six weeks, George Griffin is also sidelined and Liam Salter will have a fitness test on his hamstring in the morning.
Stand-off Travis Burns is suspended but would have missed anyway because of the shoulder injury that forced him out of the Good Friday derby win over Hull FC.
Rovers’ injury problems are in direct contrast to Huddersfield who welcome back England front-row Eorl Crabtree from a one-game ban and have only Jason Chan unavailable.
Young hooker Brad Dwyer is set for his debut after arriving on a month’s loan from Warrington Wolves and coach Paul Anderson can afford to let both Anthony Mullally and fellow forward Jacob Fairbank play for Batley Bulldogs on dual-registration tomorrow in the Championship.
Meanwhile, Hull KR forward Cory Paterson has revealed on Twitter he – bizarrely – has a clause in his contract making him a free agent if Sandercock leaves the club.