Sunday 30 April 2017

Travel continues to trouble Hull, admits boss Marco Silva after Stoke defeat

Hull are yet to win away from home under Marco Silva
Hull are yet to win away from home under Marco Silva

Marco Silva conceded Hull's travelling woes may be weighing on his players' minds after their winless run away from the KCOM Stadium continued at Stoke.

The Tigers have taken only one point from a possible 21 on their travels since Silva took charge in January and Saturday's 3-1 loss in Staffordshire left them still just two points above the bottom three.

It comes in stark contrast to their home form under the Portuguese, who is unbeaten in Yorkshire where three of Hull's remaining five fixtures take place.

They must still visit Southampton and Crystal Palace in their run-in, though, and Silva admits a 16-game winless sequence away from home in the Premier League dating back to August could be impacting his squad.

"Yes, it's possible but only our team can change the situation," he said.

"When we start the game like we did, it's not easy to change the situation. We need to improve, we need to think that it's impossible to start games this way.

"We prepared in the same way - away and at home - and I need to find this solution.

"We have five more games, the next game is one more chance to win and take points. It's hard work until the end of the season."

Apprehension is something Potters boss Mark Hughes hopes he will not have to deal with now they are 11 points clear of trouble.

Stoke had been defeated in four successive games by Chelsea, Leicester, Burnley and Liverpool prior to Hull's visit and may have been sweating on their Premier League status had the Tigers extended their losing streak to five.

There was an uneasy tension at the bet365 Stadium as a result - with fans booing after Hull's goal and Saido Berahino's substitution - but that was eventually banished when substitute Peter Crouch and Xherdan Shaqiri scored second-half goals.

The Potters remained in the bottom half but with games against Swansea, West Ham and Bournemouth to come, Hughes expects his team to approach the final stretch unburdened.

"I could sense there was a little bit of anxiety in our play at times which is understandable if you haven't had a win for a number of weeks," Hughes said.

"But I think that will settle it down and we can play with freedom and confidence because we're a good team. If we show that in the remaining games we'll have an enjoyable end to the season.

"We knew this period would test us. You always look at periods where the fixtures are unkind and that's what we've just come through. Teams have been to catch us because they had more favourable run - now we have opportunity to pick up points when they've got tougher fixtures."

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