Tony Smith has issued a rallying call ahead of Thursday’s derby, with the Hull KR head coach urging the supporters to stick with his struggling team.
Rovers are rock bottom of Super League after slumping to a heavy defeat at Wakefield Trinity on Sunday.
Smith was again absent as he continues to self-isolate and he shares the fans’ frustrations.
But he is convinced that brighter days are ahead as new chief executive Paul Lakin prepares to take the reins next week.
“It’s been disappointing for all of us – the players, staff and the supporters,” Smith told Hull Live.
“All I’ll say to the fans is please hang in there with us, for the immediate and the future.
“We’re trying to build something over the next few years to get things going. We’ve got a new CEO coming in and possibilities of some new faces coming in. We’re currently working hard to strengthen the team.
“Unfortunately there’s some players from this year that won’t be with us for next year but we’re hoping to bring some of these young guys through and get them some experience at the moment to brighten up their futures for next year as well.
“We’re working hard behind the scenes to try and strengthen. We’re going to do our best to do that to have a brighter future.
“At the moment we’re going through some pain. I know the fans have been through some pain for a number of years.
“That’s one of the traits of the people that support Hull KR more than any other team – that they stick with the club through thick and thin.
“I’m asking them to stick with us. We’ll come through this if we stick together.”
Some supporters have accused the players of a lack of effort in recent weeks, particularly after watching their team capitulate before half-time for the sixth time in seven games at the weekend.
“They’re trying,” Smith added. “They’re just frustrated and anxious and sometimes that portrays itself in ways you’d prefer it not to.
“Some of the passing and some of the play we’re putting on is a team that’s lacking in confidence and trying to push things rather than work things through.
“Players are trying hard to turn things around and sometimes you do that by yourself by pushing a pass rather than coping with the situation and understanding that you can build a game. We’re just not building a game at the moment.
“When you look at the scoreboard there’s a bit of déjà vu going on for all of us in the last few weeks. Having the capacity to handle that and turn that around – that’s what we’ve got to find a way to do. That’s the challenge for us.
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“When it comes to the supporters, we’re bitterly disappointed for them. We’d love to be able to put in better performances than we have in the last few outings.
“But I can assure you it’s not a case of not trying, it’s probably a case of trying too hard in the wrong ways.”