Super League: Gareth Ellis points to Castleford Tigers as inspiration for Hull FC
Last Updated: 24/07/14 9:25am
Hull skipper Gareth Ellis is hoping the Airlie Birds can use the example of his home-town team Castleford to turn around their ailing fortunes.
While Hull are languishing in 12th place in the First Utility Super League, the Tigers are on course for a possible double.
They are already through to the semi-finals of the Challenge Cup and a win at the KC Stadium on Thursday night would take them into second place in the table, just a point behind St Helens.
Yet this time last year, Castleford were in the same position Hull currently find themselves in before going on to win three of their last four matches to finish their campaign on a high and they have taken that momentum into this season.
Ellis, who is delighted with the progress of the Tigers, said: "I grew up supporting them. Most of the family are Castleford supporters and they're letting me know about it now.
"They're gloating and rubbing it in. A load of them have already booked their tickets for Wembley.
"They're certainly doing well. They've had a few years in the doldrums and it's great to see them cracking the top four or five.
"I suppose the positive is that we're in the position they were in last year. They've shown what can be done in the space of an off season so we can certainly take some encouragement from that and learn from what they've done this year."
I suppose the positive is that we're in the position they were in last year. They've shown what can be done in the space of an off season so we can certainly take some encouragement from that and learn from what they've done this year.
While the Tigers are trophy-hunting, Ellis admits his side are basically playing for pride in coach Lee Radford's disappointing first season at the helm.
A run of five matches without a win has left them six points adrift of eighth-placed Widnes and virtually out of contention for the play-offs.
"Realistically, the chance of us finishing in the (top) eight is very slim now," Ellis said. "We are probably relying on other teams losing.
"It's been a very disappointing year. We've been so close yet so far in certain games, taken a lot of credit from that at the time thinking a win and a performance is only around the corner, but unfortunately it never came and the more we lost those tight games, the worse it got for us.
"That's why we're in the position we're in and what we have to do for the last two months is put a bit of pride back in the jersey.
"This group of players is going to change, there are going to be players coming in and players going out, and maybe we can just put a few things in place and at least end the season with some smiles on our faces."