Hull FC: 'Stop talking and start working' - Danny Tickle
HARSH words were said, home truths told and a plan formulated this week to address a slow start by Hull FC that has both surprised and disappointed.
Necessary to address their issues, Hull's players came together in a need to respond to an alarming slump in form at Widnes.
Those discussions over with, Danny Tickle is eager for all the talking to stop.
Always willing to speak his mind, Tickle's forthright view is not one just to placate the fans.
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With five games gone, Hull's slow start can be turned around. Time is on their side.
Tickle quickly brushes that suggestion aside, however, stressing the importance of not relying on time or boasts of the potential for his side to become a very good team.
"There's no point saying we are a good enough team and we will find the results during the year. It is not as easy as that," explains Tickle.
"I know we are saying it is still early and there is room for improvement, but we can't keep saying that and we have to start coming up with the two points.
"That's the most important thing now, we need to grind some wins out. To do that we have to fix up the areas that have been lacking in the last couple of weeks."
Returning to the side from a bicep injury that has seen him play just once in the past seven months, Tickle made his first appearance of the year in the defeat to Warrington.
Featuring a week later at Widnes, the England international is yet to experience that winning feeling this season.
It's a source of frustration but, as Tickle admits, Hull have got exactly what they deserved recently.
"The last couple of weeks have been asking for a result like at Widnes," says Tickle.
"We are not finishing games off and putting ourselves in a good position to win games. It showed last weekend, the way we played we deserved everything we got.
"Every team you play are chasing those two points and the competition is getting stronger. We cannot expect to turn up at Widnes like we did last week and get the two points.
"Castleford will come here trying to take the two points away and if we want to stop that and put in a good performance ourselves we need to rectify what we've been doing the last few weeks."
Tickle has been at Hull long enough to have been in this situation not just once, but many times before.
Arriving after Hull's Grand Final debut, the second row hoped to have featured in the showpiece again, this time for Hull.
Instead he's not come close and could well depart at the end of his contract this season having not reached the showpiece with FC.
For now even the play-offs are something of a taboo word, as the focus is not on the future but the present, and addressing last week's performance tonight.
Asked how they'll do that, Tickle's answer is simple.
"Hard work," he adds.
"Everybody is disappointed at training but you have to get your heads back up again. We are all in this together as a squad and the only way we will get out of this is to work even harder.
"We've spoken about it as a squad and there are a few things we need to address, we are working on those things.
"You can't say the effort is not there. We just need more consistency and it definitely has to start this week because we have deserved what we've got these past few weeks. To dig ourselves out of that is hard work."
Hull are promising hard work, Castleford will no doubt bring the flair, as they tend to do.
"They will come here feeling confident, but as a team we can't worry about Castleford," adds Tickle.
"Why would Castleford not come here fancying their chances after seeing our previous performances?
"It is something we have to take personal, and we have to make sure teams don't come here thinking they can roll us over."