'Pressure? What pressure?': Hull City's sole focus on beating Bolton, says Steve Agnew
HULL City assistant boss Steve Agnew says he is yet to see any sign of pressure taking its toll on the Tigers as they bid to continue their march towards promotion at Bolton Wanderers today.
After a perfect week at the KC Stadium with wins against Derby, Charlton and Blackburn, City go in search of a fourth consecutive victory when they visit the Reebok.
The Tigers continue to hold on to second spot in the Championship with 13 games remaining and a first post-war away win over Bolton would see them close the gap on league-leaders Cardiff to just two points.
Each week increases the stakes in the race for the Premier League, but Agnew insists City remain unfazed.
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He said: “Does pressure begin to play a part at this time of the year? Probably, but I don’t see any sign of it here, not at all.
“As a group, we have a quiet determination in what we want to achieve and how we do it.
“Ultimately, what we want to achieve is to become a Premier League club but we also have a way how we want to do it.
“We want to be associated with being a good football team and strength and desire when the difficult periods come along.”
City’s hat-trick of home wins have emphatically allayed any fears that their promotion assault was in danger of veering off course in 2013, and a perfect nine points has again made them the team for others to catch.
With the balance of power swinging encouragingly towards East Yorkshire over the past fortnight, a three-point gap over third-placed Watford provides the Tigers with a healthy cushion over the chasing pack.
A point or more at Bolton would guarantee they enter March ensconced in the top two and Agnew said: “All we can do is look after ourselves and that’s what we’ll continue to do.
“We’ll go to Bolton and set up to go and win the game. There’s nothing we can affect other than the game against Bolton.
“If by winning we can apply pressure to other clubs then okay, but our sole focus is on us.”
With Bolton languishing in 16th, just four points above the Championship’s drop zone, City will be hopeful of strengthening their top-two status with a fifth February win.
The month’s zenith came in midweek as the Tigers dismantled an in-form Blackburn side to canter to a 2-0 win.
“I thought we were excellent but it’s not just the three wins, it’s as much about the way the players have performed all season,” added Agnew.
“They’ve gradually come together over a number of months and there’s a real determination and drive within the group. That’s why they’re a pleasure for all the coaching staff to work with.”