Desire should be the key ingredient for Hull

Hull FC head coach Lee Radford.
Hull FC head coach Lee Radford.
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HULL FC coach Lee Radford says his side cannot be better prepared for tonight’s derby with Hull KR, but any victory ultimately depends on whether they have the “desire” to succeed.

It speaks volumes about the Airlie Birds’ problems that Radford, a thunderous performer as a player himself in this fixture, has to even pose the question.

Hull’s season is over given they lie in 12th with just one win in eight games, their last outing a woefully abject showing at relegated Bradford Bulls.

They could, however, dent Hull KR’s hopes of reaching the top eight and, having lost both games against their fierce rivals this season, Radford says they know all they need to know.

“This side are not going to surprise us with any trick plays,” he said, desperately hoping to avoid the shame of becoming the first Hull side in the summer era to lose all its fixtures with Rovers in one season.

“We’ve played them twice and know them inside out. We know which hand they carry the ball in, which foot they step off and the characteristics of their team.

“The challenge is for our 17 to come with a derby intensity – it’s the be all and end all.

“They have to come and out-derby Hull KR and if the players want it that badly it will happen. If they are not right for it, it won’t.”

Hull, who finish off with a trip to Huddersfield followed by a visit from Leeds Rhinos, are under pressure to sign off in style given the huge let-down of 2014.

“It’s massive for the club we have a positive end to the year,” said Radford, who has endured a difficult and troubled start to life as head coach.

“The owner wants season ticket sales and the players need to be not going into an off-season kicking stones but going in with something to look forward to.

“I think it is really important for us as a club we finish well.

“We owe ourselves a performance, we owe the fans a performance, we owe the club a performance and the 17 who participate Friday night owe themselves a huge effort.”

Kiwi hooker Aaron Heremaia returns from knee surgery and Jordan Thompson is recalled with teenage half-back Jordan Abdull left out and Richard Whiting injured.