LIFE does not get any easier for Hull City next month, even if champions-elect Chelsea are now out of the way.
Next up for the Tigers after the international break are back-to-back trips to Swansea City and Southampton, two clubs sitting in the top eight who have exceeded expectations this term.
Then, if Liverpool beat Blackburn Rovers to book a FA Cup semi-final showdown with Aston Villa, Hull’s scheduled fixture on April 18 will have to be postponed. That would leave Steve Bruce’s men facing the possibility of all three games in April being away due to the final Saturday of the month bringing a trip to Crystal Palace.
For a team with just two away wins all season, that is far from ideal, but Andrew Robertson insists the manner of Hull’s display in the weekend defeat to Chelsea means they will not be intimidated by anyone.
“I don’t think anyone can deny that we deserved to take something from the game,” said the 22-year-old Scottish full-back. “We deserved at least a draw out of it.
“After the shaky start, when we were 2-0 down, we were a wee bit more positive and took the game to Chelsea. By the end of the first half, it could have easily been us out in front.
“Chelsea were panicking, big time. Their two centre-halves were shaky all day and our two strikers (Abel Hernandez and Dame N’Doye) had them on toast. It was just unfortunate that their goalkeeper (Thibaut Courtois) was on fine form.
“But, as disappointed as we were to lose, we can take a lot from that performance, especially when you look at the strength of the opposition.”
Hull’s frustration at ending Sunday’s game empty-handed despite fighting back from 2-0 down to level in the first half was tempered by the knowledge that Queens Park Rangers had lost at home to Everton.
It meant all five teams below the Tigers in the Premier League table had lost over the weekend, to leave Bruce’s men three points clear of trouble with eight games to go.
Robertson added: “We are still disappointed because, at the end of the day, we have not picked up any points.
“At this stage of the season, that is what we have to do. The bonus, though, is that all the sides below us failed to pick up points so there was no damage done.
“I am not going to say we can play like that in all our games remaining, but if we show that type of character and commitment then we will be absolutely fine.”
Robertson helped spark the fightback with a surge down the left flank that led to Ahmed Elmohamady pulling a goal back for the Tigers.
His display, once again, underlined the tremendous progress that the Scot has made since joining from Dundee United last summer for what has quickly proved to be a bargain £2.85m transfer fee.
On the start against Chelsea that saw Hull two goals down inside 10 minutes, Robertson added: “It was tough, don’t get me wrong. We were 2-0 down to the team that is going to be the champions.
“We gave Man City a 2-0 start (in September) and ended up coming back to 2-2 so we knew if we were more positive, took our chances, that we could get at them.
“The half-time whistle came at a bad time for us and a good time for them. Even in the next half hour of the game, we were still in it and had three great chances on the bounce that their goalkeeper saved.”