Hull City are gearing up for a potentially crucial week in their season with the Tigers preparing two vital games over the Easter period with a trip to Crewe Alexandra first up on Friday.
Grant McCann’s side head into those games in a strong position in the League One table with them remaining top of the table following their 1-1 draw at home to Gillingham on Saturday. However, Peterborough United and Sunderland are both breathing down their necks and they have games in hand on them which means that Hull can not afford many more dropped points if they are to go up.
It will be vital that Hull manage to secure as many wins in their remaining eight matches as possible and if they can look after their own business there will be confidence that will be enough for them to go up. McCann’s side are under pressure to get over the line given the way that they fell to relegation from the Championship last term.
Here then, we take a look at some of the dilemmas facing McCann ahead of the trip to Crewe…
How to rediscover scoring form in the final third
Hull City were on a roll a few weeks ago and seemed to be heading well on course for automatic promotion to the Championship and one of the reasons for that was the excellent form they were showing in the attacking third.
They managed to score 18 goals in eight matches securing wins against Wigan Athletic, Doncaster Rovers, Wimbledon, Rochdale, Bristol Rovers, Peterborough United and Oxford United in the process.
However, The Tigers have found creating and taking clear-cut chances much harder to come by in the last two games which have seen them drop four vital points against Shrewsbury Town and Gillingham. McCann’s side managed just one effort on target in their draw at Shrewsbury which was their equaliser and mustered just three on target against Gillingham.
McCann needs to get his side to start flourishing again in the attacking third if they are going to be able to get back to winning ways against Crewe. The Tigers have looked like they have been feeling the pressure the last two games and then need to find a way of playing with more freedom again.
Whether to risk Alfie Jones from the start to replace Reece Burke
Another major dilemma that will be facing McCann ahead of the trip to Crewe is whether to risk defender Alfie Jones from the start against Crewe. That comes as he will now not be able to feature in training this week due to concussion protocols after he was forced off late on against Gillingham with a head injury.
Jones was filling in at the heart of their defence for Burke, who had suffered a calf injury in training in the build-up to the game and will now be set to miss the next couple of games over the Easter period. That means the Tigers will be without their main centre-back pairing for the two crucial matches and they will need to rely on others to fill in for Burke’s influential presence.
McCann did suggest that the Tigers would potentially be able to see Jones back in action in time for the trip to Crewe. However, there are other options that they will be able to call upon with Sean McLoughlin someone who could fill in if Jones is not able to be risked for the game against Crewe.