Brett Hodgson has assessed his side’s preparations for Thursday’s trip to face Huddersfield Giants at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Hull are set for their first game in alost a month having missed their last three fixtures due to Covid-19 issues, but Hodgson will be hoping to see his side continue their fine form that has seen them win their last three league fixtures.
Hodgson himself has only just returned to the Jacuzzi Elite Performance Centre having completed a period of self-isolation due to a close contact, with Hull remaining without several key players through both Covid-19 related issues, and injury this week.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, brought to you in association with Jacuzzi, Hodgson said: “Most of the players baring two or three are all back at the training ground having gone through a period of self-isolation, or going through their return to play protocols. But it’s good to have them back.
“We’ll still be without players due to Covid-19 reasons this week, plus several missing through injury so we’ll still have ten or eleven players missing – we’re still thin on numbers.”
On the players who have been unaffected by Covid-19 and have spent three weeks training without facing a competitive fixture, he added: “We still got plenty of work into them – they had a weekend off to try and freshen up once again, as we’re going into a tough period of games over the next month.
“But they’ve done a lot of physical work, and we did our best to replicate a game scenario. Our sessions have been intense again this week which should put us in a good position for Thursday.”
On the extended break for the Black & Whites, he continued: “It has allowed us to refresh, and give some players who are injured the chance to not miss many games. We hope to use it to our advantage in that it can regenerate us and really give the next month a good go.
“Josh Bowden is available again, which is good news, but we’re still without Jake Connor, Scott Taylor, Masi Matongo and Jamie Shaul. We’re still a number of weeks away with those boys. We won’t rush them, particularly those boys who have been out for a long time like Jamie – he’s doing exceptionally well but needs the time to get his confidence up to where it needs to be, and we have time to do that.”
On the Giants themselves, who were Hull’s most recent opponents back in June at the MKM Stadium, he said: “They’ll give us a real physical game – they’ve competed well in a lot of their games of late, and against us, we were 10-0 down at half-time, and they ran Wigan close twice. They don’t seem to lose heavily, so we need to make sure we’re up for a big physical game because that is what they bring.
“Us ourselves are in a good position after this break, but it’ll count for nothing if we don’t respect what is ahead of us for the rest of the season.”
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