Hull FC coach Lee Radford believes opposite number Chris Chester has produced the “coaching job of the year” – but he hopes to put a major dent in his and Wakefield’s top-four hopes tonight.
The Black and Whites know victory tonight will go a long way to securing a play-off place, at the expense of Trinity to boot, who have defied all expectations to remain in the mix for the title with just two games remaining.
And Radford admits that he has been hugely impressed by what Chester has done on what is believed to be the smallest wage bill in Super League.
“[They’ve] done an unbelievable job,” he said of Trinity.
“They genuinely don’t spend the cap so to be in there with the big boys like they are – and consistently throughout the season – I think it’s arguably the coaching job of the year for me.”
However, despite his obvious admiration for the job Chester and Trinity have done, he is hopeful that the big game atmosphere will once again help to bring the very best out of his players this evening.
Radford said: “I just think how we’ve played over the last four weeks, it’s had a play-off intensity to our game. I think the Leeds one was bang at it, last Friday was bang at it as was the [Challenge] Cup final – so we’ve been involved in those games now for three weeks.
“It’s nothing new to us. I don’t know what they will turn up with but I know if we turn up with that attitude that we showed last week, we should be right.
“We’re very relaxed. We have been the last two weeks and they have turned up with energy over the last fortnight so I expect the same Thursday evening.”
Radford is close to a clean bill of health across his squad with the play-offs just a fortnight away – but one obvious omission is Chris Green.
He has recently had appendix surgery – the same thing England and Castleford half-back Luke Gale underwent this went this week himself.
And Radford offered an insight into the expected recovery time from such an issue: “It all depends on how clean the operation is. By all accounts [for Green] it went well, so hopefully if he’s not back for next week he will be the one after. He got it done last week and I think it’s two to three weeks.”