Stewart and Simpson combine to hoist Hull up the table

Hull City V Reading

Cameron STEWART believes his partnership with Jay Simpson is starting to pay dividends for Hull City.

The pair have been in stunning form since being paired together up front just before Christmas to help the Tigers to back-to-back wins over Bristol City and Sheffield United.

In those two victories, Simpson has been in stunning form to net four goals and Stewart is hoping their partnership can continue to grow amid manager Nigel Pearson's attempts to bolster his frontline by signing Leicester City's Matty Fryatt and Aaron Mcclean of Peterborough United.

Stewart, who recently extended his loan stay at the KC Stadium from Manchester United until the end of the season, said: "We are both enjoying it. He (Simpson) is helping me and I am helping him.

"I am really enjoying it at Hull, even though Sunday (at Bramall Lane) wasn't the prettiest of games. You get that sort of thing away from home."

Stewart's pace has been key to Hull's last two victories with his crowning moment coming against the Blades in stoppage time when a lightning-fast break down the right helped set up Jimmy Bullard's winner.

Manager Pearson said: "Cameron has got pace.

"When he is running with the ball, he is very quick with it.

"The winner was a great example of how effective he can be and how effective we can be as a team when we do counter-attack like that."

The derby win in Sheffield was enough to nudge Hull up to 15th place, five points adrift of the play-offs.

Ahead of today's meeting with Reading, Pearson added: "It is about the players. We have had a very tough first half of the season and we have disappointed ourselves.

"But recently we have looked a better outfit."

Daniel Ayala has returned to Liverpool after injury brought an early end to the 20-year-old Spaniard's loan spell in the East Riding.

Last six games: Hull City WWDDWW, Reading DDDDWW.

Last time: Hull City 1 Reading 1; October 18, 2005; Championship.

Referee: D Foster (Tyne & Wear).