Sunday 22 April 2018

Marco Silva challenges Hull to take points from remaining away fixtures

Marco Silva chases his first away win in charge of Hull this weekend
Marco Silva chases his first away win in charge of Hull this weekend

Hull head coach Marco Silva has warned his players they cannot rely on home form alone during their final six Premier League matches if they are to escape relegation.

The Tigers, two points above the drop zone and who travel to Stoke on Saturday, are unbeaten in eight games in all competitions at the KCOM Stadium under Silva.

They have won five of their last six home league games, but their solitary success on the road this season came at Swansea in August and Silva feels his side must take points from their remaining trips to Stoke, Southampton and Crystal Palace.

"Sure, this is my feeling and I've passed this on to the players as well," Silva told a press conference.

"All of our games are important and next season it's important, if it's at home or away, to take as many points as possible.

"Our next game is away and we need to change the situation and we will do our best to be competitive during the match and take points."

Stoke, who have finished ninth in the Premier League in each of the last three seasons, have lost their last four, including home games against Chelsea and Liverpool, but Silva played down their poor run of form.

"We respect Stoke," he said. "Sure it's a hard game for us. Of course, the last results for them are not the best as well, but what is important is our performance and the way we prepare.

"If it's coming at a good moment or not because of Stoke's (recent) performance is not the most important."

Silva, whose future at the KCOM remains uncertain after he revealed last week that talks with the club's owners over extending his six-month contract are on hold until the end of the season, also refused to acknowledge that the relegation battle is now a two-horse race.

Hull hold a two-point advantage over third-bottom Swansea and are six and 10 points better off than Middlesbrough and Sunderland respectively.

"We'll see," Silva added. "You know the Premier League, it's the Premier League and you never know what's going to happen.

"It's impossible to say what's going to happen in the future because if you play against a big team it's possible to take points, like Crystal Palace proved against Chelsea and Arsenal.

"I don't know if it's only between us and Swansea because Middlesbrough will keep fighting and Sunderland as well, and the other teams will try to do the same."

Silva will assess the fitness of key defender Harry Maguire, who remains doubtful due to a knee injury which kept him out of last week's 3-1 defeat at Manchester City, despite returning to training on Wednesday.

Right-back Omar Elabdellaoui (back) remains sidelined, but striker Dieumerci Mbokani is back in contention after missing the last six games due to a hamstring problem.

Press Association

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