Birmingham City v Hull City: Judgement day approaching for Tigers’ players but Greg Docherty sets goals

Greg Docherty has declared today’s Championship trip to Birmingham City as the start of Hull City’s mini-season.

With a free midweek for the first time since January turned into February and with the nice round number of 10 matches left, the last few days felt like a natural break in the campaign for the Tigers.

Thirteen points clear of the relegation zone, Hull are not completely safe from relegation but the cushion plumped up earlier in the season is certainly making life more comfortable.

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But drifting is dangerous for a professional footballer and anyway Hull’s cannot. It seems inconceivable there will not be plenty of change in Acun Ilicali’s first full transfer window as owner, and that puts the likes of midfielder Docherty under threat if they go through the motions.

Hull City's Greg Docherty, right, battles with Bristol's George Tanner Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

“It was interested on Tuesday night sitting back watching TV and realising there were Championship games on and we weren’t involved,” he says.

“It was a sort of reset for us and it came at a good time.

“There are 10 games to impress and stake a claim.

“The summer’s coming and if you want to be part of it, you have to really push on and make sure you dig deep.

New Hull City owner Acun Ilicali Picture: Ian Hodgson/PA

“In football you’re always going to be judged every single game. We can only go from what we hear internally and we’re a group that’s backed and want to impress but I know personally I want to keep on improving and I have goals I want to hit.”

Docherty is framing the run-in as a separate entity and victory at St Andrew’s will move them above Lee Bowyer’s side who, like Hull, perform better away from home.

“It so happens Birmingham are above us in the league but it’s a mini-league for us with 10 games left to really stamp our authority and do our talking on the pitch,” says Docherty. “It’s the business end of the season.”

Goalkeeper Nathan Baxter is still out injured with no timescale on his return and whilst Marcus Forss is fit up front, Mallik Wilks is only ready for the bench.