Hull City defender Matthew Pennington has laid down a marker for his team to come out fighting tonight against Barnsley to get a result to end their poor run, claiming they need to match the Tykes’ physicality.
The Tigers have not been on a good run of late, as they search for a win that would end a winless run in the league that stretches all the way back to their New Year’s Day triumph against Sheffield Wednesday.
Their last win came thanks to a Jarrod Bowen goal but both he and Kamil Grosicki have since departed and left the club without much in the way of goalscoring appetite.
Grant McCann’s side have seen their faint hopes of a play-off push completely dashed thanks to this recent run, as they now slump closer and closer to the relegation scrap as we approach the Championship run-in.
They face a Barnsley side going the other way as their back-to-back wins have massively boosted their survival hopes, as they look to close the gap to 21st-place down to just two points tonight.
Gerhard Struber’s men ended their 17-game winless run against the Tigers back in late-November and Matthew Pennington is eager for him and his side to produce a performance much more worthy of three points by matching the Tykes in all areas.
Speaking to the club’s official website, the on-loan defender had this to say on the clash: “It was frustrating to come away with nothing to show for our efforts against Preston at the weekend, but we have a chance to put things right against Barnsley tonight.
“It’s a big game for us and one that we need to win. It’s so important for us to get back to winning ways. It’s been too long now and we need to get back to enjoying that winning feeling.
“All we need is one win. One win can be the catalyst to kick-start a positive run between now and the end of the season but it’s vitally important that we get that win as soon as possible – and there would be no better time to do so than now.
“It will be a real physical test us tonight and I imagine it will be more of the same from what we faced at Preston on Saturday.
“They’ll be direct, physical and fight for every ball. They’re in a scrap at the bottom end of the table so it will be a tough game for us from start to finish.
“They’ll come here looking to build on their recent wins but we have to want it more than they do. We know that we’ll have to match them all over the pitch and we’re ready to do just that.”
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Pennington is right to state how the physical battle against Struber’s high-intensity setup will go a long way in deciding the outcome of this match.
The Tigers are already at a disadvantage going into the clash as they will be without Tom Eaves and Mallik Wilks with Eaves’ ankle injury and Wilks being ineligible against his parent club.
Pennington has been somewhat solid when he’s stepped in to replace injured defenders, this time being Eric Lichaj’s deputy, even though he isn’t naturally suited to playing at right-back.
Hull will be fancying their chances of getting a much-needed win but they will know it won’t be an easy game, given Barnsley’s last two wins and performances.