Paul McShane wants Hull City to grind out results
PAUL McShane admits Hull City still need to find the consistency required to stamp their mark on the Championship promotion picture.
The Tigers undid the good work of back-to-back wins as they slumped to an unusually below-par 2-0 defeat at Middlesbrough on Tuesday night.
A fifth loss of the season dropped Steve Bruce's men back out of the Championship play-offs and placed a heightened emphasis on Saturday's trip to Bristol City.
A topsy-turvy sequence has now yielded five wins and four defeats from the Tigers' last nine games, and McShane wants to see City still gathering points when not at their best.
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"Everyone beats anyone in this league and you need to get that consistency, and sometimes, that means coming away from a ground with a draw," he said.
"But we are still in a great position. Everyone knows we are better than that and being on the end of a 2-0 defeat in a game like that was very disappointing.
"The games come thick and fast in the Championship and it is good to have one so quickly. We need to pick ourselves up as quickly as possible and look forward to the next game and make sure we are happy again come Saturday night.
"It will be tough and we have to be right for that. We will go again and work hard in training to put things right."
Bruce called the Riverside defeat City's worst performance of his reign and few would have disagreed among the 682 away fans on Teesside.
Two goals inside seven second-half minutes condemned the Tigers to a limp defeat against a promotion rival and continued a worrying trend of shipping soft goals.
Fourteen goals have been leaked in the last seven league games and McShane said: "You need to learn from your mistakes very quickly, because this game is unforgiving.
"It is just not good enough to keep conceding bad goals like that because if we want any chance of getting promotion, we need to cut that out as soon as possible.
"We have had some good results and performances in previous games, but this one was a little below-par and when you play like that, you should just nick a 0-0."
For all City's erratic form of late, McShane has been a source of reassurance since his return to the first-team fold. Four consecutive starts have been hugely encouraging for the one-time outcast and he added: "I am happy to be play and you want to be playing all of the time.
"The last few weeks have been good for me and you have to keep going and working hard because football can change very quickly. I have just got to keep doing the best I can for myself."
City will hope to have defender Abdoulaye Faye back in the squad for Saturday's game at Bristol City after he missed Tuesday night's defeat with a minor injury. Playmaker Robert Koren, who has been absent for the last three games, is rated as a "50-50" chance.