Hull City v Luton Town - Jordy De Wijs issues apology as Tigers target swift response

Hull City captain Jordy De Wijs has apologised to the club’s supporters for the performance served up in Tuesday’s 8-0 mauling by Wigan Athletic, but insists that now is the time for him and his team-mates to start doing their talking out on the pitch.

SORRY: Hull City's Jordy de Wijs puts Wigan's Kai Naismith under pressure at the DW Stadium.  Picture: Bruce Rollinson
SORRY: Hull City's Jordy de Wijs puts Wigan's Kai Naismith under pressure at the DW Stadium. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

The Tigers suffered their worst defeat in more than a century when they were thrashed by their relegation rivals, a result which keeps them mired in the Championship’s bottom-three with just two fixtures remaining this term.

The first of those games comes against Luton Town at the KCOM Stadium this afternoon, a clash that pits 22nd against 23rd where the loser is almost certain to drop out of the division.

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The stakes don’t get much higher, and with City in desperate need of what would be just their second win in 19 league outings, their skipper has issued a rallying cry.

“First and foremost, on behalf of all the players, I would like to apologise to Hull City fans after Tuesday night’s defeat at Wigan Athletic,” the ex-PSV Eindhoven defender said.

“We let everyone down and we can never ever let anything like this happen again. The fans had every right to be angry in midweek, and we know we need to show that they deserve better. We want to make it right for the people who get behind us every week.

“With the situation we find ourselves in, we have to take this [defeat] on the chin, pick ourselves up and move on.

“We still have two massive fixtures to come and we know what we have to do to stay in this division. It’s down to us to respond from the disappointment of Tuesday night at the first time of asking – against Luton.

Wigan Athletic's Kieffer Moore (second right) scores his side's second goal against Hull City at the DW Stadium in midweek. Picture: Martin Rickett/PA

“However, we all understand that actions speak louder than words. It is up to us to go out, give everything we’ve got and prove just how good we can be as a team.”

Being humiliated at Wigan was hardly the ideal preparation for a showdown of the magnitude of their game with Luton, but Tigers assistant coach Cliff Byrne doesn’t believe that Hull’s players will have any mental scarring to contend with this afternoon.

“The games are coming thick and fast, so we’re not afforded the time or the opportunity to dwell on the performance or the result,” he said.

“Nobody was happy with it, nobody was proud, but we came in on the Wednesday, de-briefed and our focus is on Saturday now.

UNDER FIRE: Hull City manager Grant McCann Picture: Martin Rickett/PA

“We maybe thought it would have been [difficult to pick the players up] but looking at the boys, they’ve come in bright, trained hard, applied themselves well. We made it quite clear that we’ve got to move on. We can’t affect what’s gone before and we can only look forward.

“I’m not gonna lie, initially the disappointment was there for all to see, you don’t get many hours sleep the night directly after the game, but we’ve got that trust in each other as a group and a real good opportunity to respond.”

If City don’t manage to conjure up a suitable response when they take to the field against the Hatters then the consequences are unthinkable.

Byrne’s glass is however half-full, and the former Scunthorpe United centre-half wants his charges to embrace the situation which they find themselves in.

Today’s game falls into the do-or-die category, but Grant McCann’s No 2 is hoping Hull’s players relish the occasion.

“It’s another opportunity for us to go and put in a performance,” Byrne added.

“Yes, the magnitude of the game has risen significantly with where both clubs are sitting in the table at the moment. There’s no-one shying away from that. There’s no-one sugar-coating anything but it’s a real opportunity to go out, embrace the challenge and perform.

“We’ve got to relish, embrace and go out and enjoy these last two games. These sort of high-profile, high-pressure games matches don’t come around too often. However, all of our focus is on Saturday because – at the minute – nothing else matters right now.

“We’ll just be fully focused on ourselves. We know what we’re about and we’ve got to be fixed and focused on what we need to and want to do. We have to play the game, not the occasion.”

As wretched as the Tigers’ recent form has been, one crumb of comfort they can take into their meeting with Luton is a 3-0 success on the road the last time the teams clashed, at Kenilworth Road back in September.

Town are however an altogether different proposition these days and have been rejuvenated by the return to the fold of manager Nathan Jones.

They have lost just once in seven since 2019/20 resumed and are unbeaten in their last three Championship outings.

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