Radford calls on Hull to capitalise on Saints’ weaknesses

Lee Radford believes a rapid start will be the key to success in Hull FC’s clash with St Helens.

The Saints enter the match following back-to-back defeats, in which they have made slow starts against Leigh and Wakefield.

Radford, who will take charge of the club for the 100th time on Friday, believes his side must manipulate the vulnerabilities of their opponents and start all guns blazing.

“I’ll openly admit their starts to the game have been poor,” he told TotalRL.

“So the opening exchanges are going to be really important for both sides. With us being at home we need to make sure we get out of the blocks quicker than they do and put some added pressure onto some pressure they’re already under at the moment.

“The last thing we want to do is give them a shot in the arm early because when they do start performing they are a quality side.”

Radford’s opposite number, Kieron Cunningham, is already under pressure after his side’s slow start to the campaign, however, the Hull chief insists that criticism heading the way of Cunningham is unjust and that playing away from the Totally Wicked Stadium will work in their favour.

“I think that’s probably two weeks earlier than last time, and he managed to get them to within five of ten minutes from a Grand Final.

“I think as a coach you have to try and stay above it, not read the paper or go on social media because in a matter of a fortnight things have changed. We couldn’t attack a fortnight ago and our attack was terrible, our halfback couldn’t pass. Seven days later we’ve hit our straps and everyone is flying. I think what’s important for any coach is to just try and stay above it.

“If one thing goes wrong the speccys (spectators) are on them. They’ll probably be pleased to be away from home.  It’s probably to their advantage that we’re at home tomorrow.”

Gareth Ellis will be a continued absentee for the Black and Whites as he continues to deal with a concussion.

“His test is no good,” Radford said.

“We banged on all pre-season about using the squad and making sure all of them are capable of coming up and stepping up. They did that last week and hopefully we see that again this time around.”