Hull City can set sights firmly on top-two finish, says Robert Koren
ROBERT Koren believes Hull City's targets must be set on landing automatic promotion to the Premier League, rather than settling for a place in the Championship play-offs.
As the halfway mark of the campaign approaches, Steve Bruce's side have justified their pre-season billing as a promotion contender by setting up home in the top six.
A draw or a victory at sixth-placed Watford tomorrow would guarantee City's standing in the play-off places for another week, but Koren is urging his side to have even greater ambitions this term.
Five points stand between the Tigers in fifth and second-placed Crystal Palace, and City's captain believes the deficit can eventually be overcome in a wide-open promotion race.
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"Every team and every player needs to have a high expectation," Koren told the Mail.
"If you go into the season and think you just want to reach fifth or sixth place, it's not really something to aim for.
"As an individual I want more than that. I came to this club to help the team do well and to reach the Premier League.
"I want to play in the Premier League again and I believe we have enough quality here to reach that.
"At the start of the season my target was to be in the top two places and that hasn't changed. In the play-offs anything can happen.
"So long as we're in the top six and trying to close the gap on the first two places, we'll be all right for now."
City have held a top-six berth since their victory at Bristol City six weeks ago and a 2-1 win at Nottingham Forest last weekend again helped them to cling on to the coat-tails of league-leaders Cardiff, who travel to Blackburn tonight.
A trip to in-form Watford tomorrow will be another test of City's promotion credentials but regardless of the outcome at Vicarage Road, Koren has seen enough to suggest a third season in East Yorkshire can complete a personal hat-trick of promotions.
"From my point of view it's always been a disappointment not to reach my targets here," said Koren, who twice won promotion to the top-flight with West Brom.
"I want to be in the top two and I believe it's important to set high targets. I believe we are good enough to push on and get there.
"If you look at where we are now and where we were last season, we're ahead and the team looks really good.
"The club has sorted out the problems which were here when I arrived and everything looks promising for the future.
"We'll judge the season at the end of the season so for now we have to concentrate on doing our jobs and getting a result on Saturday."