Hull FC head coach Lee Radford believes Saturday’s Challenge Cup quarter-final clash with Catalans Dragons is arguably his team’s biggest game of the season.
Radford’s side currently top the table after 19 rounds and head into this weekend’s mouth-watering fixture on the back of a nine-game winning streak in league and cup.
And he was quick to stress the importance of the Catalans game, and said his focus remains on the quarter-finals but added he would love to be the coach to end Hull’s longstanding Wembley ‘hoodoo’.
“Of course, I’d like to make history but it is 80 minutes for another 80 minutes this week,” he told TotalRL. “Watching them over the last two games and the results they’ve picked up with a lot of big players missing tells you that they’ve got some squad depth.
“We’re obviously confident with the group that we’ve got and likewise they’ve got similar sorts of players who have achieved things through their careers and it’s inevitably about who turns up Saturday and takes their opportunities and that is cup football.
“Saturday is just an opportunity to back up the belief we have and put a performance on that gets a result as it’s arguably the most important game of the year for us.”
While the Cup has thrown up a number of surprises this season, Radford pointed to Hull and Catalans’ occupation of a top four berth as indicative of this season’s unpredictability.
The two sides finished 8th and 7th respectively in the Super 8s last season, having little to play for after the competition divided, but have enjoyed a change in fortunes in 2016.
Despite Hull’s league position being a particular eyebrow raiser this time around, Radford insisted his side are positioned at the top of the table purely for their own form.
“It’s bizarre and this time last year I was crawing on about going into the 8’s with nothing to play for but now a couple of other teams are doing it everyone’s interested now and it’s funny how the season has turned around,” he added.
“I think now it’s probably a bit more predictable and teams are where they are for a reason in the rounds and the football you’ve played so where you are now is roughly where you’re going to finish and there’s a reason for that.
“From the outset you’d say us being up there was unpredictable but looking at the form of the season I’m not sure whether it is now.“