Hull City can have no excuses if they don’t beat Nottingham Forest on Saturday, according to former Tigers player Peter Swan.
Swan, 51, a former record buy for Hull when he joined the club for £200,000 in March 1989 from rivals Leeds United, believes his old club should pick up four points from their next three games, with the first of those coming in Saturday’s late kick-off at the KCOM Stadium.
The Tigers are unbeaten in three matches, collecting four points from a draw at Norwich City and win at Barnsley last time out, while their previous home game saw them destroy Birmingham City 6-1.
Swan has pinpointed the Reds’ defensive fragilities as a reason to demand maximum points ahead of games against Middlesbrough and Sheffield United, if they’re to build a play-off push.
“It is a pivotal period, as City will be eager to show over the next two weeks that they can challenge for a play-off spot after finally picking up their first three-point haul away from home,” he said.
“The Tigers face Nottingham Forest on Saturday at the KCOM Stadium before returning to home comforts again on Tuesday to host Middlesbrough. The Tigers then travel to Sheffield United the following Saturday for a real test of their credentials but (Leonid) Slutsky can only afford to look at Forest.
“Any sort of oversight could prove detrimental at this stage. Form comes and goes quickly which is why the Russian needs to look to improve in small steps rather than making points targets over a certain number of games.”
Writing in his column for the Hull Daily Mail, Swan continued: “Nevertheless, that doesn’t stop me from making one. Over the next three games I would be happy with a point haul of four.
“There can be no excuses for not beating Forest on Saturday.”
Hull sit two places and two points below the Reds in the table, down in 14th place, having won four times in the Championship following relegation from the Premier League, under new boss Leonid Slutsky.
“Mark Warburton’s side are up and down and after conceding 12 goals on the road already, City really ought to be picking up a second straight victory for the first time this season,” Swan added.
Forest and Hull have both been conceding goals at regular intervals, with Warburton’s side shipping 21, compared with City’s 20, though at the other end the Tigers have bagged 24 against Forest’s 17.
Forest secured just their third clean sheet of the season against Burton Albion last weekend and with the Reds boasting the fifth worst defensive record in the division, it’s something that should give the home side confidence, Swan believes.
“Not unlike City, Warburton’s defence has been criticised for being particularly leaky and as a result City should be looking to play with the confidence they showed against Birmingham City last time out,” he said.
“City scored six against Birmingham in their last home game, with six different scorers which will breed confidence when they step out at the KCOM this weekend.”
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