'Defence key to good start for Hull FC'
PETER Gentle says the key to a successful start to the season lies in Hull FC's defence.
Facing a difficult opening month, Gentle believes Hull must be at their best defensively if they are to give themselves a base to build from.
Aware it will take time for his side to build cohesion with a new half-back pairing at the helm, the Hull coach has singled out his team's defensive traits as being all-important to give them a chance of winning early on in the campaign.
"We are not going to go out there and blow teams off the park in the opening few weeks," Gentle told the Mail.
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"Defensively, we need to be good in the first four to six weeks and keep the games close. That's how we can win games early on and that gives us a base to build from."
Hull open their Super League campaign at reigning champions Leeds Rhinos a week today.
The Black and Whites' tough start to the season is followed by home games with Bradford and competition favourites Warrington, with a trip to St Helens sandwiched in between.
Facing three of the genuine Grand Final contenders, as well as a resurgent Bulls team in their opening four games, Gentle knows keeping teams to a low score is a necessity.
"We've changed our structure a little bit defensively and offensively and I am very comfortable with where we are at the moment," said Gentle.
"We've brought in seven new players and four young guys into the squad and I am very comfortable with what we have achieved in the off-season."