Hull not concerned by drop-off in form, says Houghton

Hull FC hooker Danny Houghton has insisted there is no panic amongst the Black and Whites players despite a worrying drop in form ahead of Thursday’s huge Hull derby.

FC host KR in a game which could have huge implication for both teams’ seasons this weekend. Defeat for Rovers would consign them to the bottom four and a stint in the Qualifiers, whilst a third loss in succession for Hull could see their place in the top four come under increasing threat.

Defeats to Huddersfield and Leeds in the last fortnight have seen them surrender top spot in Super League to Wigan – but victory on Thursday would see them regain their position at the summit.

And Houghton has stressed that nobody is panicking too heavily just yet.

“We’re not overly concerned,” he said. “We’ve had a bit of a blip and I know a lot of teams go through that. Hopefully we can come out of it on Thursday night.

“But there’s no panic or concern in the camp, it’s more about trying to learn from what we’ve done wrong in those games and when we come into that situation again, we can rectify it and come out winning.”

And Houghton is also heartened by the likely return of captain Gareth Ellis.

“We don’t want to keep using injuries as an excuse but we seem a much better outfit when we have players like Gaz on the pitch,” Houghton said.

“I think it lifts us before the game when people know he’s going to be playing, he is that influential for us.

“It may be as well that it has an adverse effect when he’s not playing so the more we can get Gaz on the field, the better we’ll be.”