The Tigers are threatening to keep their season alive into its final weeks with fine run of form
Hull City’s home hoodoo ended with two successive wins over QPR and Cardiff City, and now they take their momentum on the road for back-to-back away games.
Before returning to the MKM Stadium on Saturday week to host Preston North End, the Tigers travel to Stoke City this weekend and then follow that up with the long trek down the east coast to face Norwich City on Tuesday.
Taking six points from their last two has thrust City into the top half of the Championship table and to within four points of the top six, with momentum building under Liam Rosenior with just two defeats in 12.
Saturday’s matchwinner against Cardiff, Cyrus Christie, says the focus of the dressing room is on what they can achieve, safe in the knowledge that their fate is now firmly in their own hands with 16 games left.
“It’s about us now, it’s about what we can make of our season,” Christie said. “It’s about what we can do, it’s not about other people. You want to be in the mix come to the end of the season.
“There’s nothing worse than playing for nothing when you come to the end, so we need to keep pushing each other every day in training and every game. Not every game’s going to be great, we know that because that’s football but we have to keep putting ourselves in a position to be in and around it.”
City boast the sixth-best form since the season re-started at Watford in December, with that narrow loss at Sheffield United the only blot on an otherwise impressive copybook, with Christie pin-pointing one clear difference.
“From Turkiye, I think we’ve lost one in nine or whatever it might; we’ve kept a lot of clean sheets which is what we weren’t doing before. We look organised, we look solid, we look like we’re going to score and everyone knows their job, whether you start or you come off the bench.”
Boss Rosenior refused to quash talk of a tilt at the play-offs in the final stages of the season, and Christie says his manager is right to encourage positive talk, especially given the early season struggles and worries of being dragged into a relegation battle.
“It’s a positive,” added Christie. “Before we were probably looking over our shoulders but now it’s nice to be looking up. I’ve always said since I came to the club, this is the Championship, one two or three wins on the bounce and its a different picture, but you’ve just got to have the belief that you can do it.
“Everyone now is pulling in the right direction, I think the fans can understand what we’re trying to do and what we’re trying to achieve with the way we play. It’s nice when we start well and like last week, we got the early goal and it lifted the fans, it’s crucial for us and definitely a big boost for the players.”
Stoke are first up this weekend before spending Valentine’s Day at Carrow Road, but even at notoriously difficult Championship away grounds, Christie says his side will arrive with belief at its highest point of the season so far.
“We go into Stoke, we look forward to that and it’s another chance to pick up three points,” Christie said. “They’re two good teams, but I think the way that we’re playing and the confidence that we have, even the organisation we’re playing with, I don’t think many teams have been breaking us down or had clear-cut chances.
“Every single one of us is fighting to the death, you’ve seen that (against Cardiff). People putting blocks in, Doc (Greg Docherty), Mika – bodies on the line.