Phil Clarke on Hull FC's big challenge and the key player that could be their 'best'

Phil Clarke has given his opinion on the biggest problem Hull FC still need to sort out. It's the old adage, but it's come to the fore again and always will until the Black and Whites find the answers.

It's something Peter Gentle spoke about when he was at the club as head coach over a decade go, with the challenge to narrow the gap between their best and worst performance each year. For so long, Hull's gap has been massive, with their last two games seeing them humiliated by Salford and then restoring some pride against St Helens.

In Clarke's view, it is an answer that Hull need to find quickly. They showed some spirit at the home of the champions, but for the Sky Sports pundit, it means nothing if they don't go and build on the performance this week against Leigh.

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"It's easy to play your best game when you've played your worst game," Clarke said. "Every team plays 27 to 30 games a season and one's your best and one's your worst.

“The problem Hull have had for repeated years is the difference between their best and their worst is massive. They have to narrow the gap between those.

“They need to find out why they were so bad last week. It's easy the next week to try harder, but then you can't do that again the next week and the week after. They have to really find within the club an answer to the problem that they've got."

Hull FC are still to welcome back two key players to their side this year, with long-term absentees Jake Trueman and Carlos Tuimavave yet to feature.

Clarke, meanwhile, had one last revelation up his sleeve. “Potentially they have their best player to come back in Jake Trueman," he said. The half-back is due back at the start of May, and will link up with Jake Clifford, Brad Dwyer and Tex Hoy in a new and fresh spine.

Host Brian Carney went on to mention the 20 players Hull FC have out of contract this year, and the massive job Tony Smith has to build his squad going forward. Pundit Terry O'Connor suggested that scenario could bring the best out of the Hull players, but if not, then they have the right man at the helm to sort it out.

"Those players are playing for the futures, aren't they," O'Connor said. "If you've got a squad of 20 players out of contract, that's some rebuilding.

"Tony Smith wants to put a team together that he thinks will take them forward. If there are characters within the side because they can't perform week in and week out, then he'll shift them on."

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