After agreeing a deal to remain as the permanent manager until the end of the season, Mike Phelan hopes that Saturday's match against Bournemouth will kick-start a crucial period before Christmas.
"They play good, tight, inter-passing football"
Phelan has earmarked the next two months as vital for Hull's survival hopes, admitting "we need to try and get as many points as we can between now and Christmas". Yet the boss also explained that the Cherries will be no easy target. He explained "Bournemouth are a side that show a willingness and desire to do the correct things most of the time. They play good, tight, inter-passing football but they also have an option of suddenly going forward with one pass".
However, Phelan suggests that his side are adequately prepared for the challenge. “I’m glad that most of my players have returned from international duty fit, so we’ll go down to Bournemouth with as strong a squad as we’ve got". Not only do Hull have the fitness but they also have a specific tactic to deal with Eddie Howe's side, explaining "we have our game-plan and we know what we have to do to try and achieve a result down there".
“These are games that we have to take points from"
One of those players who represented their country on international duty was Norway's Markus Henriksen and he echoed Phelan's sentiments. The midfielder suggested “the start we have had has been good, although we’ve been a bit unlucky against the best teams. We’ve learned a lot from the last few games, a bit of smartness. Now we have to show what we are made of".
Henriksen even went as far to suggest that the forthcoming fixtures could make or break Hull's season. “These are games that we have to take points from. If we want to stay in this league, we need to take points from the upcoming games".
Andrew Robertson suffered a disappointing week away with Scotland and admitted "it has felt like a long two weeks since we last played". The defender also set his sights on the next few games by explaining "we’ve got six or seven big games coming up against teams that are likely to be in and around us in the table, rather than the run we had recently when we were up against a lot of the big teams in this league". However, Robertson urged his colleagues to focus on Saturday's fixture, commenting "first and foremost we need to be at our best to take something from the game at Bournemouth and that is what we are aiming to do".