Andrew Robertson tells Soccer Saturday how Marco Silva has revitalised Hull
Last Updated: 07/04/17 6:06pm
Hull City haven't achieved anything yet. But six points have been gleaned over the past week and Premier League survival is back in their own hands.
The team sits outside the relegation places for the first time since October and they are playing with a style and flair more akin to a side chasing European places as opposed to trying to avoid the drop.
In their wins over West Ham and Middlesbrough they have come from behind to overpower opponents who had no answer to their high-energy, pressing football.
Sky Sports Pass
Watch every drive, chip and putt from the Masters in the battle for the Green Jacket. From £6.99.
The club's humble Cottingham training ground was a happy place to be on Friday morning. Manchester City lie in wait for Marco Silva's men next but the players are in a good place.
Full-back Andrew Robertson believes the side is brimming with confidence and has been given an element of freedom to get on the ball and express themselves.
"That's what the manager wants, he wants us to do that every day in training. Even if you make a mistake he wants you to keep going, keep taking the ball and keep showing yourself," he says.
"I think that's what our success at home has been based on. Everyone is creating chances and creating angles or the passes. I know if I've got the ball I've got at least three options. I think you saw that on Wednesday night with our possession stats and our pass completion stats."
The 4-2 victory over Middlesbrough came on the heels of a 2-1 win over West Ham on Saturday. Robertson marked the weekend game with his first Premier League goal, a tidy finish after a lung-busting run, underlapping Kamil Grosicki into the box.
"It's good just to be able to chip in with goals and assists. Big Harry [Maguire] got his first goal as well on Wednesday and Sam [Clucas] got his first recently as well. We can't just rely on the strikers, it's a team performance and everyone is starting to chip in with their fair share."
Confidence may not be a tangible quality but there are players thriving here after troublesome spells elsewhere including two who arrived here from the other end of the M62.
Serbian international Lazar Markovic has displayed some of the attributes that led to Liverpool shelling out £20m for services. Across Stanley Park, striker Oumar Niasse was unwanted at Everton, but has now scored four goals since his January loan move.
"Again it's down to the manager showing belief in them," Robertson explains. "They find their feet and their confidence comes out. I think a perfect example of that is Niasse. He never got a look in at Everton but every time he is in front of goal here we're confident he'll score.
"Markovic has been brilliant for us and long may it continue for them. We just need to keep going."
It's not quite a League of Nations at Hull but there is an eclectic mix of nationalities and personalities that have come together.
Robertson said: "Sometimes that can be a negative thing in a changing room with too many different backgrounds making it hard to gel. But all the foreign lads who have come in here have settled in straight away and we all get on so well. I think if you can get on at training and in the dressing room you can take it on to the pitch and it shows with performances."
On Wednesday night Maguire was made captain for the first time. He's become a firm favourite with fans in the North Stand and the responsibility of leading the side sat well on the 24 year old's shoulders.
"Big Harry has been magnificent," Robertson adds. "Me and him signed the same day as each other three years ago. He's probably had to be a bit more patient than I have.
"Now he's flourishing playing every week. Getting the captain's armband on Wednesday showed just how far he has come and how well he is doing for us."
Under the management of Silva, Hull look a unified bunch. The Portuguese had his critics when he arrived in this country, largely down to jingoism rather than any fair and meaningful appraisal of his CV.
Now the 39 year old's stock has risen on these shores, but if he is relishing his time at Hull he isn't showing it.
Robertson said: "The players didn't know much about him when he came in. He's a very focused man, that's what we need at this time. In training now our intensity is much higher than it was.
"As soon as each game is over he's focusing on the next one, he's not letting himself enjoy it. He's not showing us he's enjoying it but I think by the end of the season if we are above that dotted line he'll maybe show us how much he's enjoying it."
Hull fans could be forgiven for viewing Saturday's trip to the Etihad Stadium as a shot to nothing given the club's poor away form and the points already amassed over this last week. Whatever happens, there can be no doubt that this is a reinvigorated Hull team heading into the final weeks of the season.
You can see an extended interview with Andrew Robertson on Soccer Saturday from midday on Sky Sports News HQ.