Just six days ago I referred to the awful run of form at home. It's been highlighted by the last three home games on the last three Tuesdays but, in truth, it has just not been anything like good enough for the last two years.
We can point fingers at the likes of Carl Boyeson, the joke of a referee from last week, and at others who have made appalling decisions that have cost us, but a shocking run at home stretching back to March 2011 is simply not good enough.
Winning away games is one thing, but you have to give your home support something to enjoy, something to celebrate and some reason for coming back to watch time and again. That's not been happening and the attendances have, hardly surprisingly, been dropping.
|We need to keep thinking positive says Kieran Trippier|
I'm expecting another low attendance tonight. We've had snow today; the temperatures are dropping alarmingly, and there is the option of sitting at home and watching it on television.
Hopefully, tonight will be the night when we find some of the missing home form. It's been there occasionally in the last couple of seasons. It's always around when Blackpool visit and other notable home performances this season have come against Bolton and Crystal Palace.
Tonight should see some changes from the team that performed so disappointingly against Barnsley last Tuesday. Chris McCann returned from injury via the bench in that game and the good news is that Michael Duff, Ben Mee, Dean Marney and Ross Wallace are all nearing fitness.
Most supporters, if not all, have ruled out any hope of making the top six. I'm very much in that category, but I'm certainly not in the group that thinks we might have a relegation battle still to fight.
The players, though, have remained positive. "It's not over yet. We've got ten games left," said right back Kieran Trippier.
"We need results to come our way and us to win and we can be up there, but I believe in the team we've got and the manager we've got and the staff that we can still do it.
"We need to start again, get the result and fell confident in every game to get in the play offs. We don't want to look downwards; we want to look up. Since the manager's come in he's tightened everything up and done very well.
"We need to keep thinking positive and I still believe we can get in those play offs."
Trippier's name is one of the first on the team sheet. He'll play tonight but there could be some changes with players coming back. Michael Duff and Ben Mee are fit again, as is Chris McCann. There's a chance that Ross Wallace could be fit but Dean Marney remains doubtful.
I'm not so sure Sean Dyche will change his back four. Kevin Long and Danny Lafferty have done well since winning places in the team and I expect them to start. I do think he'll make changes in the midfield even if both Wallace and Marney fail to make it. McCann will surely come back at the expense of Marvin Bartley and, although David Edgar will probably play, there is the option of Brian Stock.
We could line up: Lee Grant, Kieran Trippier, Kevin Long, Jason Shackell, Danny Lafferty, Junior Stanislas, David Edgar, Chris McCann, Alex Kačaniklič, Martin Paterson, Charlie Austin. Subs from: Brian Jensen, Michael Duff, Ben Mee, Brian Stock, Marvin Bartley, Ross Wallace, Danny Ings, Sam Vokes.
Hull are having a good season even if their last two away results have not been too good. They arrive at Turf Moor in fourth place knowing that a win would take them back into the automatic positions and just three points behind leaders Cardiff.
Hull, for long enough, have been a team that didn't score or concede many goals. They started this season with a flurry but had scored more than two goals in a game only once since mid-September.
That was until just over a week ago when they netted five times against Birmingham and in particular Steven Caldwell who had a poor game where he was once sent off playing for Burnley.
Either side of that they have conceded four goals twice on the road. They suffered a 4-1 loss at resurgent Bolton and last Tuesday went down 4-2 at Crystal Palace.
Beware though Burnley. Only Cardiff and Watford have won more away games this season. Hull have won 8 and lost 7; those wins coming at Leeds, Sheffield Wednesday, Bristol City, Birmingham, Nottingham Forest, Watford, Derby and Millwall.
They've scored 53 league goals, four more than us. Sone Aluko and Robert Koren are their leading goalscorers with eight apiece and they now have another player in their squad with eight goals. They've captured Peterborough's eyesight man George Boyd on loan and he's scored twice to add to the six he's got for Posh.
One of those goalscorers, Aluko, won't play tonight. He's had surgery for an Achilles injury in the last few days and will be out of action for most of the remainder of the season. The only other player to miss out tonight will be Corry Evans. He picked up a strain in the warm up last Tuesday at Palace.
They are boosted with the availability of both James Chester and Tom Cairney. Chester was forced off at Selhurst Park with a cut above his eye. Cairney missed that game because of a kick to the calf he received in training. Both are fit for tonight's game.
Hull are expected to line up: 34. David Stockdale, 27. Ahmed Elmohamady, 5. James Chester, 28. Alex Bruce, 6. Jack Hobbs, 30. Robbie Brady, 31. David Meyler, 29. Stephen Quinn, 10. Robert Koren, 37. George Boyd, 22. Mohamed Gedo. Subs from: 1. Eldin Jakupovic, 2. Liam Rosenior, 23. Abdoulaye Faye, 15. Paul McShane, 14. Tom Cairney, 17. Ahmed Fathi, 11. Jay Simpson, 33. Nick Proschwitz.
Last Time They Were Here
New Year's Eve 2011 was the date of Hull's trip to Burnley last season. It came just five weeks after the dramatic game at the KC when we won 3-2 having trailed 2-0 with 12 minutes remaining and the 1-0 win, courtesy of a Martin Paterson goal, ensured we did the double over the East Yorkshire club for the third season in succession.
We were a side bang in form. The run of results between, and including, the two Hull games was six wins and just one defeat and, incredibly, four of them were achieved whilst keeping clean sheets.
|Goalscorer Martin Paterson|
With Michael Duff injured, Brian Easton was preferred to Andre Amougou which meant Ben Mee moving into a central defensive position.
Elsewhere, with Eddie Howe having said he would rotate the squad, there was just one other change which saw Keith Treacy preferred to Junior Stanislas.
We started well but, one speculative Jay Rodriguez shot apart, we didn't trouble the Hull goal, but the good start didn't last too long and we were thankful for the wayward shooting of Cameron Stewart, Aaron Mclean and Robert Koren for being level after half an hour.
Then, just past the half hour, we got the ball in the net through Rodriguez but it was ruled out for offside. Hull responded and came close and from that chance came the only goal of the game.
Grant saved and kicked the ball upfield. It bounced past Jay Rod and a defender and that looked the end of the matter. But defender Jack Hobbs beckoned goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi to come for the ball.
He then realised he'd have to play it just as the goalkeeper made his move. Hobbs headed it, Gulacsi got a touch but it dropped invitingly for Paterson who turned and hit the ball into the unguarded net as Hobbs frantically tried to get back.
The keeper was hauled off before half time when we could count ourselves fortunate to be in front, and it got tougher in the second half.
Somehow we survived as Hull looked to get back into the game but they eventually ran out of steam and we were able to coast the closing minutes.
We'd won ugly, we were told by Mee after the game and more than anything he and his team mates were delighted with the clean sheet.
The teams were;
Burnley: Lee Grant, Kieran Trippier, David Edgar, Ben Mee, Brian Easton, Ross Wallace, Dean Marney, Chris McCann, Keith Treacy (Junior Stanislas 64), Martin Paterson (Sam Vokes 90), Jay Rodriguez. Subs not used: Jon Stewart, Andre Amougou, Charlie Austin.
Hull: Peter Gulacsi (Adriano Basso 42), Paul McShane, James Chester, Jack Hobbs, Andy Dawson, Paul McKenna, Corry Evans, Robert Koren, Aaron Mclean (Richard Garcia 83), Matty Fryatt, Cameron Stewart (Robbie Brady 66). Subs not used: Joe Dudgeon, Tom Cairney.
Previous Games against Hull
|Last 20 Years|
|1993/94||Division 2||a||2-1||11,232||Davis, Deary|
|h||3-1||10,574||Pender, Eyres(2 1pen)|
|1995/96||Division 2||h||2-1||10,613||Nogan, Allison(og)|
|2009/10||Premier League||h||2-0||20,219||Alexander(2 1pen)|
|a||4-1||24,369||Paterson, Alexander(2 2pens), Elliott|
|2010/11||Championship||h||4-0||14,458||Iwelumo(2), Eagles(2 1pen)|
Click HERE to see all previous results against Hull