Josh Griffin says the shortened Super League season gives Hull FC little room for error as they bid to get their year back on track.
It is expected that the Black and Whites will learn their route through the remainder of the campaign in the coming days when the new fixture list is released.
However, FC already know that they have just 15 games to claim a spot in the play-off which will now be the prize for the top four in the contest, rather than the top five.
The first seven games of the 2020 season hardly went to plan for Hull, with four losses prompting a change of head coach and if the club are to claim a first play-off spot since 2017, Griffin knows they cannot afford to waste any time.
“It means we have to hit the ground running and start as fast as we can,” Griffin told Hull Live. “It will help that we’ll have a fully fit squad but pretty much every team will be in the same boat.
“That’s what this whole experience has done, it’s given boys time to heal. It’s going to take a few weeks for us all to settle, we haven’t had a ball in our hands or any contact, we don’t have that game fitness and we’ve only got two or three weeks training before it all kicks off so it will take a while.
“We’ve shown what we can do, we played well against Leeds with a fully fit squad and we probably didn’t have that again in any of the other games. But we didn’t play well enough, something needed to click and I think Andy Last will probably get that out of us.”
While Hull couldn’t find form as a team, the reigning FC player of the year caught the eye with his performances before lockdown, so much so that he was included in Shaun Wane’s first England squad.
Unfortunately, the Ashes have been cancelled this year, but Griffin has been in regular contact with the new national head coach and the centre revealed there is another virtual meeting planned on Wednesday.
He added: “I didn’t want the season to stop, I was in good form and now you’ll have to get that back again and fight for a place in the team and you have all that pressure again, it will be like day one of pre-season and you have to impress.
“I had an email from Shaun Wane, we’ve got a meeting over Zoom on July 8. We’ve had a couple of calls and he’s explained what he expects from us and how we’ll make the England team. Maybe there will be an Exiles game next year.”
Griffin has been putting his spare time to good use during the Super League suspension. Following the completion of the first year of his university course, he made himself available to fans as a personal trainer during lockdown to raise money for the NHS.
However, with July 20 circled in his diary as the date Hull are aiming to return to training, the 30-year-old is solely focused on one thing now.
“I finished uni for the summer, so I had to get out the house and kill some time,” he explained.
“Personal training was allowed so as long as we were outside we were allowed to do stuff. I had a really good response from it.
“I’m going to train the house down for three weeks now and get myself in the best shape I can. I’ve heard different rumours about training about only being allowed to train in small groups at certain times, you’re not allowed to eat or congregate there; it’s going to be a weird and challenging experience.
“We’ve got a full fit squad again. We’ve never had this much time off, so to have four months off, it’s a new challenge. It’ll be good to see the boys that I haven’t seen for a while and it’ll be good to get that daily routine, that’s probably what I’ve missed the most.”