Sean McLoughlin keen to help secure upturn in results for Hull City

Sean McLoughlin says his unexpected promotion to Hull City’s first team has been “bitter-sweet”.

Sean McLoughlin, right, wacthes on as Tyler Roberts scores his second and Leeds fourth goal at the KCOM Stadium on Saturday. Picture: Darren Staples/Sportimage

Signed from Cork City in the summer, the 23-year-old defender was loaned to St Mirren for experience. He was called back in January and as injuries have mounted at the KCOM Stadium, has found himself becoming an important figure.

McLoughlin has featured in all but one of the last six matches, but the Tigers have not won any.

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“Coming from Ireland and going up to Scotland was definitely a good experience for me, it was good to get games up there, then come down here,” he reflected.

“I probably got into the team quicker than I thought but I’m enjoying playing.

“It’s bitter-sweet that the results haven’t gone our way at all since.

“I was told to stick around and fight for my place in the team and it’s come earlier than I expected, really.

“If I’m selected in the coming weeks, that’s great, but if not I’ll be right behind the boys.”

Despite the difficulties – Hull have conceded 13 goals in the five matches he has played – McLoughlin is relishing playing Championship football for the first time.

“I came here to play football, all any player really wants is to be playing on a Saturday,” he said.

“I have enjoyed it but the results haven’t been great. We’ve just got to pick ourselves up and focus on the positives from Saturday(‘s 4-0 defeat to Leeds United) and get going for the weeks ahead.

“I’m just trying to absorb as much information as I can from the players around me.

“It’s a massive test. There’s teams around us fighting for the same thing, everybody wants to get out of it.”

From the fringes of the play-offs when they won at Sheffield Wednesday on New Year’s Day, the Tigers have been dragged into a relegation battle through their abysmal form.

“There’s been a lot of injuries, probably more than other teams in the league have had,” said McLoughlin. “It’s unfortunate but the main thing is that we don’t make excuses.

“It hasn’t been good enough but whoever gets selected we have to make sure we’re all reading off the same page next Saturday. We’ve just go to get back to basics, being hard to beat.”

Slaven Bilic sees tonight’s FA Cup clash against Newcastle as a good test of West Brom’s Premier League credentials.

The Albion boss does not expect there to be much between the two teams when they meet at The Hawthorns

He said: “It will be very interesting to see how big the gap is, if anything, in quality.

“We are in a good mood, we are positive – but Newcastle are dangerous and it’s going to be a good test for us.”