Josh Hodgson: No time to dwell on past, Hull KR's future is what we make it
TRYING to get Josh Hodgson talking about last season is pointless. Just like every other Hull KR player, he wants to put a disappointing 10th-place finish behind him once and for all.
After missing out on the play-offs, thanks to late-season defeats to Bradford and Wakefield, it hasn't been a pleasant pre-season.
But Hodgson feels a win against Catalan, the side which finished fourth, will finally banish 2012 to the history books.
"We don't want to dwell on last season too much," Hodgson told the Mail.
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"We were up and down too much last year and we have to learn from our mistakes. We're looking to get off to a good start.
"Consistency comes with belief. The more you play, the more you buy into what you are trying to achieve.
"The more games you start winning, the more belief you get."
Hodgson was one of the few players to come through last season with his reputation enhanced.
Given more freedom by coach Craig Sandercock, who saw something in him that could add a new dimension to both his and Rovers' game, Hodgson was switched from his familiar hooker role to spells in the back row.
His performances ensured there was no other serious contender for the club's player of the year awards.
Now surrounded by a much younger supporting cast, Hodgson enters the new campaign looking to take his game to the next level.
His aim is to push for an England call-up for the World Cup and, with belief in his voice, he says anything is possible.
"I want to get some confidence right from the start," said the 23-year-old.
"I haven't played for quite a few months now and there can be a little doubt in your head about your sharpness. But as soon as I get going, the belief should come back.
"There may be a time in the season where I play back row or loose forward. I suppose it's good for Sandy to have someone who can do that.
"If I'm asked to do it, I'll happily do it for the team.
"I like being on the pitch for as long as I can. If moving to the back row gives me more minutes, I'm happy to do it."
Switching from one role to another might faze a more inexperienced player, but not Hodgson.
He makes the transition with the minimum of fuss, insisting it has actually improved his overall game.
"The mind-set doesn't really change too much," Hodgson said.
"It's the same kind of thing but being in the back row means you have to be tactically sound in defence.
"It helps my reading of their plays and my judgement of whether to go forward or not. It's more or less straight up and down.
"I'm not sure what the plan is for me against the Dragons. I'll do whatever is best for the team."
Hodgson hopes his season starts better than his off-season did, when a foot injury ruled him out of England Knights' autumn international series against Scotland and Ireland.
Luckily, he made a full recovery to help Rovers beat Wigan and Hull in their pre-season friendlies.
But although Hodgson says they were not proper games, they have given Rovers plenty of momentum to take into tomorrow's match.
"The key will be to put into practice the things we have been working on in pre-season," he added.
"We were pretty good in the two friendlies against Wigan and Hull.
"We were consistent and we showed we can be ruthless, especially early in the Hull game.
"In the second half, when we played a few of the kids, they put their hand up to be picked again.
"If everyone knows the plays and roles and does their individual job, there's no reason why we can't get the job done."
So what approach will the Robins take to get the job done?
In a topsy turvy 2012, Rovers conceded more points than in any of their previous five seasons in Super League. But they also scored the most points too.
Having made a few adjustments to the way they address both sides of their game, Hodgson hopes this is enough to turn the club's fortunes around.
"We have changed a few things in attack and defence," he said.
"But we've not placed too much emphasis on one or the other. We've always had a good attacking team but a few times last season the defence wasn't great."
Improve it, and Catalan could come a cropper. Fail to do so and it may be a very early case of back to the drawing board.