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Sport: More than just two points on offer for Hull FC as Brett Hodgson ponders options

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Hull FC will be looking to get back to winning ways on Monday when Warrington Wolves head to the MKM Stadium (kick-off 5.30pm).

Hull FC players pictured before the derby © David Greaves/News Images Hull FC players pictured before the derby

Here, Hull Live previews the clash.

Improvements needed

To put it simply, Hull must be better than they were on Friday afternoon if they are to get back to winning ways. The Black and Whites never got going at Craven Park as the occasion appeared to swallow them up and Hull KR were allowed to control key areas of the field.

Read more: Half-back decisions as changes expected - Predicted Hull FC side to face Warrington Wolves

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Rovers failed to impress for large periods of the game on Good Friday, but they were good enough to beat a lacklustre, jaded and uninspired Hull side to claim the derby spoils for the first time since 2019. They’ve only had a couple of days to digest the derby defeat and morale was visibly low as FC trudged off the pitch and down the tunnel after the final hooter in east Hull.

However, Brett Hodgson cannot allow Friday’s performance to have a negative impact on his preparations for what is arguably the biggest game of the season so far. He needs his side to play with confidence and direction, something they failed to do last time out.

The Black and Whites have developed a tendency to overplay in recent weeks, looking for the miracle pass that will open teams up. Hodgson will be urging his side to go back to basics, keep things relatively simple, make their passes stick and complete their tackles.

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A repeat performance will not be tolerated by those Hull fans attending the game on Monday and they’ll expect to see improvement.

Decisions to be made

FC will be without Josh Griffin and Andre Savelio on Monday night and their absence means changes will be made to the starting line-up. Mitieli Vulikijapani looks a certainty to step into the centre role, while Jordan Lane should play in the back-row.

Hodgson has tougher calls to make elsewhere it seems having questioned the performance of his spine on Friday and changes could be made. Josh Reynolds, Jake Connor and Luke Gale all struggled to find joy and the head coach may be tempted to shake things up somewhat in the pivots.

The head coach has shown he is willing to drop players due to poor form and from the outside looking in, at least, it would appear that he has a big decision to make ahead of Monday’s game.

More than just two points

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In terms of the league table, FC need the result over Warrington to remain inside the Super League’s top six. However, there is a slightly more at stake this time around as the pressure starts to build around the club after three disappoint defeats in a row.

Having seen his side lose nine of their final 10 games of the season last year, Hodgson will be concerned about his side’s run of form and the negative momentum that it has created. That cannot be allowed to grow and only a victory against Daryl Powell’s side would ease that pressure.

Improving Warrington?

Powell has had a difficult start to life at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, but Thursday’s result over Salford Red Devils would suggest he is starting to get his ideas across. The Wolves head coach took his side on a ‘reset camp’ last week after five straight defeats and it seems to have done the trick as they bucked that streak last time out.

As such, they’ll travel to East Yorkshire with confidence and with George Williams returning to the fold, they’ll be even more of a threat as they look to leapfrog Hull in the table and move up to fifth.

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