Andy Lynch: Hull FC must knuckle down and avoid the hype
HULL FC captain Andy Lynch has warned his side to forget the hype surrounding the club and focus on knuckling down at training every day.
Lynch admits the players are aware of the huge expectation and excitement that has grown in and around the Black and Whites over the off-season.
It is an expectation fuelled by the strong words of owner Adam Pearson and coach Peter Gentle, both of whom are bullish about making the club trophy contenders.
Even Sunday's 28-18 derby defeat to Hull KR has failed to dampen the enthusiasm of most, with fans convinced Hull can make a serious bid for a top-four finish this season.
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But while happy to be regarded as a side on the up, Lynch has warned his team-mates they cannot afford to fall into the trap of getting lost in the hype.
And, with that in mind, he says the squad's only thoughts should be on giving their best every day if they are to be genuine contenders.
"There is a lot of talk and hype outside the club about this team from the media and some fans about what we could do," Lynch told the Mail.
"We cannot rely on that hype, hype doesn't win you games.
"It is down to us players and we have to work to the best of our best ability every day.
"In the gym, on the training field, in video sessions, each day and each week we have to work as hard as possible because if we don't we won't win games or trophies."
Hull have returned to training this week with that mentality after a disappointing performance against Hull KR on Sunday.
Beaten convincingly on the day, the Black and Whites failed to build on a positive first run-out against Castleford Tigers in a stuttering display.
With the younger members of the squad lining up with several of the club's under-19s for the trip to York on Sunday, the derby was Hull's last chance to impress before opening their campaign against defending Super League champions Leeds on February 2.
Aware it will take time to find their best form as the new combinations established in pre-season begin to gel, Lynch says Hull need to focus on getting points on board early in the season, and not on hitting their best form or playing their best rugby from the off.
"We'll take small steps early in the season to get us to where we need to be and then hopefully we can start running," added Lynch.
"The Leeds game will be a tough start to Super League but it is all about picking up two points and it doesn't matter how we do it.
"We know it will take some time to get our form where we want it to be and that will be the same for a lot of teams.
"What is important about these early few games is simply winning and putting points on the board to help you as you build into the season.
"Leeds have a nice new field at Headingley and it would be nice to christen that pitch in the first Super League game with a win for us."