Brett Hodgson has warned his Hull FC players they cannot afford to let the slightest element of complacency kick in if they are to stay on course for a play-off berth.

Pointing to FC having come through the toughest period of the season with a difficult seven game run, Hull now start what on paper looks a more favourable group of games with a match at winless Leigh Centurions tonight.

With two games against Leigh, two against Huddersfield Giants, a home match with Salford Red Devils and the derby game as the standout, FC’s next six games, eh derby aside, appear less challenging than a seven-match streak that saw St Helens and Wigan played twice, plus matches against Catalans, Castleford and Leeds.

With injuries stacking up and just 18 players named in the squad for this evening’s trip to Leigh, FC cannot afford complacency and any suggestion points will be easier to come by has been given short shrift by the FC coach.

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“It’s been a tough run, especially that six week period where we played Wigan twice, Saints twice, Leeds and Catalans, it would be tough for anyone,” admitted Hodgson.

“Even though we didn’t get results in all the games as we’d like, I thought we showed strength in the group and a willingness to keep fighting and not give up when we weren’t going great. Now we are beyond that tough period, but it’s all a big challenge, this is just a different kind of challenges.

“I think they have been playing substantially better the past month and are a dangerous team. We have to make sure we are on our game. They have a number of threats, but we need to concentrate on what we do.”

Leigh have made significant strides in recent weeks but remain rooted to the bottom of Super League without a win. There is a growing sense that victory is coming, with FC guarding against making sure it doesn’t come tonight.

Having seen his players pushed to the limit in recent weeks, Hodgson brought some respite with a long weekend afforded to the squad after their win at Castleford Tigers, a victory which keeps FC firmly in the play-off picture.

The FC coach has made it clear there has been no let up this week or taking it easy against the basement side.

He added: “We gave the players three days off at the weekend but since coming back in on Monday the players have gone in hard.

“That’s because we value this game against Leigh and it is a game where we must go there and perform. We have to improve on what we did last week against Castleford, so our preparation this week needed to be strong.

“I’m really excited about hopefully another quality performance. We are coming out of a tough period of a lot of physical games in a short period of time but we have to make sure we are up for this.”