Losing simply not on Hull FC's agenda, says Danny Houghton
DANNY Houghton says the thought of losing at Warrington on Saturday has not even crossed the mind of Hull FC's players.
Hull head to the Halliwell Jones Stadium for the second round of the play-offs regarded by most as underdogs and favourites to have their season abruptly ended.
But the hooker insists there has been no thoughts of anything but victory, with the squad confident of building on the momentum gained in three impressive victories.
He told the Mail: "There is no pressure on us. All the pressure is on them and we can go there concentrating on just playing our normal game.
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"Just because there's no pressure on us doesn't mean we are thinking if we push them close and lose it will be okay. We aren't even thinking about losing, we are heading there confident and only thinking of winning.
"If we play how we've played in the last few games, and we can play like we did against Huddersfield and win that battle in the middle, we are good enough to win."
Hull are yet to beat the Wolves this year, having drawn their opening game of the season against Tony Smith's men at the KC, before losing thanks to a second-half shut-out at the Halliwell Jones in June.
But Houghton is unconcerned about the statistics or bookmakers' odds.
The 23-year-old, who last week picked up the players' player of the year award for the third successive year, says he's only concerned with what Hull can do.
Identifying the battle of the middle men as being crucial again, Houghton believes a similar effort to the one that shut down a big Giants pack will be needed.
"It will come down to the middle again because they've got players like Morley and Carvell, if he's fit, plus Ben Westwood coming back, so it's an area we have to win," added Houghton.
"If they get on top of you Michael Monaghan and Lee Briers come into the game and show their class, then you're in trouble."
Hull's victory against Huddersfield was the first play-off win of Houghton's career, but he is now eager for more.
The former academy captain last week agreed an extension to his current deal, which takes him through to a testimonial season in 2017.
With his current contract not close to expiring, Houghton was surprised to be offered a new one, but he had no hesitation signing.
"I have no need to go anywhere else so it was a really easy decision to make," he explained.
"Players usually leave because they want to go to a club where they can win things, but I'm sure the way this club is going we'll be winning things in the next few years.
"We're progressing and I'm progressing as a player too. I'm enjoying my rugby and the way we play suits me."