Hull FC 'will work harder to reach top four', says Peter Gentle
PETER Gentle has told his Hull FC players they must train harder than any other side in Super League – or go play elsewhere.
Gentle has told his troops they must raise their standards next season and train like the best team in the competition if they are to achieve their goals.
The coach has been delighted with the response he's seen so far to his challenge in pre-season and says his players are currently being pushed to their limits and beyond.
With a new-look regime seeing the coaching team raise the standard of training at the club, Gentle says his squad know they must either train harder than any other team or fail to move forward.
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"We have raised the bar, but we needed to raise the bar because what we did last year wasn't good enough for us to get in the top four," Gentle told the Mail.
"We've raised everything and the whole pre-season has gone up another level. We want to train as the best team in the competition and if the players can't go with us, then they won't be with us.
"But so far, there's no complaints and the boys have been terrific from the very start."
While Hull's players have been taking to social network sites regularly to discuss how hard their pre-season has been, it is not just the intensity which is known to have changed.
With funding from owner Adam Pearson and plans put in place by Gentle, assistant coaches Andy Hay and Lee Radford, as well as conditioning coach Paul Devlin, Hull have increased the use of their sports science division.
Placing greater emphasis on preparation and analysis, Gentle was keen to see Hull make improvements in all divisions this pre-season ahead of their planned assault on the top four next year.
Having welcomed new signings Shannon McDonnell and Ben Galea to training on Monday, and with Danny Houghton back in the fold also, the coach is edging closer to a full strength squad to work with.
Watching his players worked to near exhaustion, Gentle says the hard work is going to pay dividends.
He added: "It starts now, these are the hard yards that nobody sees but that makes such a difference.
"It is not glamorous at the moment, the players are getting down and dirty and it is a real tough slog for them being bashed up five or six days a week.
"They are in a lot of pain, but this is where we find out who the tough ones are and who wants to be in the 17 for the first game."