Monday 20 January 2020

Tom Huddlestone enjoying life under Marco Silva at Hull

Tom Huddlestone has been in fine form under Marco Silva
Tom Huddlestone has been in fine form under Marco Silva

Tom Huddlestone believes Hull head coach Marco Silva's tactical acumen is the key factor behind the midfielder's eye-catching form.

Huddlestone has thrived under Silva, appointed in January and tasked with halting the club's slide back towards the Sky Bet Championship.

The Tigers aim to maintain their momentum at Everton on Saturday after last weeks' home win against relegation rivals Swansea lifted them to within a point of safety and Huddlestone is relishing the challenge.

"It's been good," Huddlestone said ahead of the trip to Goodison Park, where Hull have not won in 65 years.

"It's been enjoyable and he's opened a few of our eyes to different tactics and ways of playing and ideas on the pitch, so it's been very enjoyable so far.

"He's given me a bit more responsibility in possession and out of possession and equally we know as a midfield two or three, if one player goes into a position he knows exactly where the other two should be.

"It just makes your job easier knowing if you go into a certain position, then you're reassured that the cover is behind you."

Hull's home league form under Silva has been impressive - three wins and a draw - but their only success on the road in the Premier League this season was at Swansea back in August.

Another season in the top flight could hinge on Silva's side rectifying that record with trips to Everton, Manchester City, Stoke, Southampton and Crystal Palace to come.

"It's been frustrating," Huddlestone said. "We've had a few decent away performances and whether it's sloppy set-pieces or penalty decisions or whatever, it just hasn't quite clicked away from home for us.

"But we've still got a few games away from home and we know, even if it's just a point here and there, we need to put them on the board away from home as well as at the KCOM.

"We're confident going into most games to be honest.

"Of late we're a lot more organised and with some of the new signings we know we can hit teams on the break if we have to sit in a little deeper.

"We've added a lot more pace to the squad and we've still got chances to win matches away from home and win in different styles as well."

Hull will chase that elusive away win at Everton without last week's two-goal match-winner Oumar Niasse, ineligible to face his parent club.

Midfielder Evandro is still out after failing to shake off a calf injury which has sidelined him for the last three matches.

Silva, who has no new injury problems, is likely to start with Abel Hernandez as a lone striker, while the Tigers will be wary of the threat posed by Everton's Romelu Lukaku, currently the top flight's joint-top scorer alongside Harry Kane with 19 goals.

Lukaku has refused to sign a new deal at Everton and further angered boss Ronald Koeman by publicly declaring he wanted to play in the Champions League and win titles.

Huddlestone however, is convinced the Belgium international's form will not be affected.

"He's been playing at the top level for a number of years now and there's been a lot of speculation as well while he's been in the Premier League, so I'm sure he'll put that to the back of his mind and just play his football," he added.

"Goalscorers just want to score goals. I'm sure he'll fancy himself to get the golden boot as well."

PA Media

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