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Preview: Blues v Hull City

What I expect to see at the weekend is a response. I'm not saying we're going to win the game because we're playing against an opponent that thinks the same.

Garry Monk

Our full match preview ahead of Saturday's Sky Bet Championship fixture against the Tigers at the St. Andrew's Trillion Trophy Stadium (3pm kick-off).

Garry Monk on how the mood had been in the Blues camp this week after a first loss in 12 games against Derby...
"It's been good. We knew there were going to be bumps and set-backs, but that's the reality of football, especially in this league. The key is the determination to respond to that and learn the lessons that we need to learn, which we've gone through and prepare for Saturday and we've been very focused on that. We need to respond and show the levels we know that we're capable of, which I feel we didn't show in the second-half against Derby. We have a collective responsibility to bounce back and put ourselves in a position to win this game at the weekend at home at St. Andrew's. Every opponent we are going to play is difficult, but it’s a game we're looking forward to."

Garry Monk on maintaining a balanced response after a defeat...
"I've said it before. In this league if you win two games and you can be x position in the league and everything is great, and you lose two you can have a bad feeling and be looking downwards, especially this year. We remain very balanced. You have to enjoy performances and points, but we're just focused on the game ahead as we always have. We have to take last week's defeat on the chin and use that as determination to go again in the next game."

Garry Monk on what he is expecting from Hull City...
“They've had good results back to back. In this league teams are more than capable of putting runs together. You can be in shocking form and go on a winning run and be in great form and go on a losing run. That's how it is, but consistency is what we're fighting for. We know that if we're at the levels we have been consistently we always going to have an opportunity of getting the right result. Things might be out of our hands in certain games, but the only thing we can control is our performance and we try and make that the best we can. That's what we're focused on for this weekend."

Garry Monk on Hull's league position...
“The whole league is so hard to predict. There are always teams that are in a false position, you look at us at start of the season, we weren't winning games, but we were drawing a lot and we were down around those areas. We were performing much better than where we deserved to be but because you don't see every single game you just assume when you look at the league table they are where they are because they can't be all that. I don't think it becomes apparent until January-February time where teams really know what they are fighting for. Even then I remember a season after the year we got promoted with Swansea, I think it was Reading, they were nowhere then the last 12 games they won 10 or 11. We don't pay attention to the league table, there's no point, each team has its own merits and Hull are an example of maybe not quite getting the margins on their side - which we were facing earlier on in the season."

Garry Monk on looking for his side to start another unbeaten run...
"As I said to the players after the Derby game, we've shown that we can put winning runs together and we can go on unbeaten runs. Now we have to show that we can respond. They've ticked boxes all the way along in difficult circumstances and it's testament to what they're trying to do. What I expect to see at the weekend is a response. I'm not saying we're going to win the game because we're playing against an opponent that thinks the same. But in terms of what we do and the levels we've seen already that's what we want to see at the weekend."

Hull manager Nigel Adkins' comments ahead of the game...
"We've put the ball in the back of the net and we've kept it out at the other end. Results change the complexion of things. We've got a group of players who are working extremely hard for each other and I've highlighted several times before the previous two (wins) it's been fine margins. Let's be really positive about the last two results, clean sheets and performances. At the weekend Birmingham are going to play with big Jutkiewicz up front. Potentially they get a lot of crosses in with Jota coming in from the right-hand side and whipping crosses in so we're going to have to defend the far post well." 

Blues team news...
Gary Gardner will miss the game after being suspended for one match for collecting five yellow cards. He is likely to be replaced by either his brother Craig or teenager Charlie Lakin. Jacques Maghoma (ankle), Isaac Vassell (hip) and David Davis (ankle) are all sidelined.

Hull team news...
Hull will be without a number of players because of injury. Angus MacDonald (blood clot), Nouha Dicko (hamstring), Stephen Kingsley (hip), Evandro (calf) and James Weir (knee) are all sidelined. Former Blues loanee Jon Toral (calf) is also missing.

Last five meetings between Blues and Hull City...
Championship 17 Mar 2018 Blues 3 Hull 0
Championship 30 Sep 2017 Hull 6 Blues 1
Championship 03 Mar 2016 Blues 1 Hull 0
Championship 24 Oct 2015 Hull 2 Blues 0
Championship 02 Mar 2013 Hull 5 Blues 2

Form guide. Last five Championship fixtures...
Blues: DWWWL
Hull City: LDLWW

Total meetings
Blues wins: 26
Hull wins: 20
Draws: 17

Ticket news...
Tickets are still available. For prices and purchasing details, please click here.

BluesTV…
BluesTV will be broadcasting live from St. Andrew's. Former Blues Club Captain Paul Robinson will be doing match commentary along with regular host Jon Bell.
UK & EIRE customers will be able to listen to live commentary of Saturday's game.
INTERNATIONAL subscribers can watch the match exclusively live on BluesTV.
If you would like to subscribe to BluesTV, please click here.

Match officials…
Gavin Ward will take charge of Saturday's game at the St. Andrew's Trillion Trophy Stadium. So far this season, the Surrey-based official has refereed 15 games where he has produced 45 yellow cards in total, but no reds. The last Blues game he refereed was our Sky Bet Championship away fixture at Sheffield United in September 2018. Blues drew that game 0-0 and there were two Blades players cautioned, but no Blues players. The last Hull City match he refereed was the Tigers' 1-1 home draw against Preston North End last month. A total of five players were cautioned in that game; including Jackson Irvine for Hull. Mr Ward will be assisted on Saturday by John Flynn and Billy Smallwood, with Michael Salisbury acting as the fourth official.

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