Hull FC head coach Lee Radford insisted his side will not take tonight’s opponents Huddersfield Giants for granted, despite the gulf in form this season.
Radford’s side sit top of Super League on a 10-game winning streak in all competitions and continue their assault on the League Leader’s Shield this evening.
Their dramatic change in fortunes has coincided with the demise of Huddersfield this season, who languish second bottom, six points adrift from the top eight.
But league position aside, Radford remains firm his side will give treat the Giants with the respect they deserve despite their struggles in 2016.
“There’ll be wanting a response from their loss against Wakefield last week so it’s going to be a tough encounter and it always is at Huddersfield,” he said.
“They’re a good side and you only have to look at the 17 they’re putting out and it’ll tell you that so there’ll be no taking them for granted and we know that if they perform to the best of their ability it’ll be a tough evening for us.”
Hull have a chance to keep the pressure on title chasers Wigan Warriors, who face a trip to Catalans Dragons on Saturday, but will have to do so without Jamie Shaul and Gareth Ellis.
The key duo were ruled out earlier in the week, along with towering prop Liam Watts, paving the way for a number of fringe players to stake their claim for a starting spot.
Among those is Curtis Naughton, who has excelled on the wing this season, with Radford stating he has an ideal chance to show his credentials in his favoured position and asserted his squad that personnel would be no justification for defeat.
“If we lose it’s not because of Shaul and Ellis, because there’s a quality side going out there’s a quality side going out there so there’s no reason to lose,” he added.
“We’re hoping we can play a bit more expansive football and that means him getting on the ball more and making sure he’s in the right field position to exploit where we see the haven’t got the numbers.
“To do that is obviously easier said than done and you take for granted how many high speed metres Jamie runs throughout a game.
“Curtis is a fine player and he’s been telling me he’s a full-back for the last two seasons now so we’ll find out.”