Rooted in the relegation zone, Hull City manager Mike Phelan is hoping that Sunday afternoon's Premier League fixture against Southampton will provide the turning point for the Tigers after a challenging start to the season.
The Yorkshire club have now lost six league games in a row and have just one point from their last eight.
"Confidence in the camp is good"
Yet Phelan believes that home advantage against the Saints could prove crucial, underpinning Ahmed Elmohamady's rallying call to the fans earlier in the week. The manager suggested "we have to relish the challenge of playing at home, in front of our own fans".
However, the former prodigy of Sir Alex Ferguson and Steve Bruce was also wary that his side need to perform to their potential if they are going to earn anything from Sunday's game. He explained "we have to make sure we turn up and make it as difficult as possible for Southampton".
Phelan has belief in his players though and claims that morale is still high at the KCOM stadium. "Confidence in the camp is good and the players have stuck together and will continue to do so as we look to bring an end to what has been a frustrating run of results".
McGregor and Lenihan back in action
During his pre-match press conference, Phelan also touched upon his delight to see Allan McGregor back in action after he played 90 minutes in a 1-0 victory over Derby County during an Under-23 match. McGregor had undergone back surgery and some had suggested the 33-year-old could be forced into early retirement.
Yet the boss explained "all the hard work and effort Allan has put in since the very first day of his rehabilitation process has paid off. He’s back playing games and looking good, which is great to see and it’s great to have further competition for the spot between the posts".
Phelan was also pleased to see another long-term absentee Brian Lenihan play a part in the match but mentioned that the club would have to be careful with how they handle his recuperation. "It’s just a case of being gentle with him to make sure he continues to progress and gets back to the levels that we all know he’s capable of, which is the reason why we invested in him in the first place".