Hull FC's Kirk Yeaman will make amends for being slow out the blocks
WITH a look of real determination on his face, Kirk Yeaman lays his cards on the table. "I'm not happy with my performances," he reveals.
It's a statement made not to placate his team-mates or the fans, more a battle cry to signal a way forward for the international centre.
In a year which ends with a World Cup he's desperate to be involved in, Yeaman began the campaign with lofty ambitions for himself and FC.
Four games in, his team have stuttered and he's not met his goals.
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He's not been poor, but for a player who takes pride in every appearance for Hull, it is the feeling of not meeting his very high standards which has left him frustrated.
"I know better than anyone when I've not had a good game, I don't need anyone to tell me," he says.
"I've been around long enough to know if I'm playing well and at this moment in time I'm not happy with my performances.
"I've been patchy, but I've had a really good week this week and I feel really confident at training.
"I am hoping to kick-start my season this week and put in my best performance so far.
"Possibly, my slow start is because I started a few weeks later than most because of the foot injury, but I don't know why."
Eager to focus on the future and not what's gone before, there's been no in-depth analysis of his first four games, more a focus on what lies ahead and what more he can do.
"If I can get my hands on the ball more I will be happy and hopefully I can give myself more opportunities."
Being involved more is key, and to that end Yeaman needs help from those around him.
Against Warrington, Hull's lack of field position meant the centre was starved of possession and left to forage on runs from dummy-half deep in his own territory.
The return of Daniel Holdsworth this week will help a new-look left edge that has seen Ben Galea come in alongside Yeaman for Willie Manu.
It's a combination still finding their feet, but one that boasts plenty of potential.
Impatient to finally hit the ground running, Yeaman admits he does take it to heart when he's not at his best.
"I am the sort of person who lets it get to me," he adds.
"I care about this club and I take pride in my performances for this team. Up to now I don't think I have had a good game yet this season and I'm determined that will change.
"I set high standards because I want to do something this year with the club and I genuinely feel like we can achieve something. For me to play my part in that then I need to be playing my best rugby."
The 16 players who take to the field at the Stobart Stadium with Yeaman will have their own part to play in a return to winning ways.
A spirited draw at St Helens was followed by a frustrating loss to Warrington, despite Hull being in the contest for 60 minutes.
That elusive 80-minute performance is still to materialise and it is a major source of frustration.
"We were gutted last Saturday night because the game was there for the taking. For an hour we were in control and then it all went wrong," he adds.
"We were not patient, we kept dropping the ball, we gifted them possession in our own half and gave ourselves too much to do in attack. We had too much defending to do and it cost us.
"We've looked at the video this week, we looked back at why we went wrong, it's behind us now and they key is making sure we learn and improve against Widnes."
Responding from disappointment has not been a problem since Peter Gentle took the helm 16 months ago.
Successive defeats have been a rarity and more often than not a loss has been followed with a victory and an improved performance.
"The Warrington and Leeds games had a lot of similarities," adds Yeaman. "We don't want to be known as a team that goes with those sort of sides for 60 minutes, we want to be a team that goes the whole 80 minutes and then comes out on top.
"We responded well to the Leeds defeat and we've always come back from disappointment with a good result, so we are confident we can do that again this weekend."