At the bottom of the Championship table, support means everything – something that Hull City’s Matthew Pennington knows well ahead of his side’s clash with Stoke City tomorrow evening.
Both teams are in rather difficult circumstances, and while a positive atmosphere may buoy a team to safety, a negative environment could condemn a side to defeat.
18th placed Hull will look to reverse their form at the Bet365 stadium, while the Potters – in 21st position – will hope for the three points that will send them above the falling Tigers – but Pennington is hoping to pour on the misery for Stoke to ensure that support turns on the home side.
“They’re an experienced team but they’re in a tough patch just as much as we are,” said Pennington to the Hull Daily Mail , “I imagine if we start well there then the crowd will get on their backs. Hopefully we can use that to our advantage.”
The on-loan defender believes that status and reputation has a part to play. Expectations had been very high for Stoke City since their relegation to the Championship, while Hull haven’t sensed pressure – yet.
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“I imagine the expectation is more on them but we need the win just as much as they do,” added Pennington.
Regardless of club standings – both teams will be fighting for survival tomorrow, and reputation won’t help either team avoid the drop.
“It’s going to be scrappy, fighting for balls and then who can produce that bit of quality to win a game.”