Hull V Middlesbrough at The KCOM Stadium : Match Preview

04 April 2017 04:34

Ahmed Elmohamady: Steve Agnew one of the best coaches I've worked with

Hull midfielder Ahmed Elmohamady would like to see Wednesday night's opponents and Premier League relegation rivals Middlesbrough appoint Steve Agnew as permanent boss.

Elmohamady worked under Agnew for two-and-a-half years at the KCOM Stadium before the latter swapped his role as assistant to former Hull manager Steve Bruce for a similar post at the Riverside in December 2014.

Agnew, now in temporary charge at Boro, will return to the KCOM for a classic 'six-pointer' in search of his first win since Aitor Karanka was sacked last month, and Elmohamady admitted all goodwill has been placed on hold.

"I think Aggers is one of the best coaches I have worked with through all my career," the Egypt international said.

"He was fantastic here and has the chance to go back to Middlesbrough and deserves the chance.

"He's a fantastic man and a fantastic coach, but hopefully (on Wednesday) we can beat him because we need the three points."

Second-bottom Boro, without a league win since December 17, arguably need them more, but Hull can climb out of the relegation zone for the first time since October with victory if Swansea fail to beat Tottenham at the Liberty Stadium.

The Tigers are chasing a fifth home win in six under head coach Marco Silva and if the Portuguese can extend his unbeaten home league run as manager to 40 matches, his side's momentum could prove decisive in their fight for survival.

"Of course, everyone wants to be out of the bottom three, especially (on Wednesday), it's a big game for us," Elmohamady added.

"With eight games coming, it's massive. They're all cup finals, but I think the most important game is this one.

"To get out of the bottom three, it will give everyone more confidence going forward. It's going to be a massive game."

Silva will again be without Tom Huddlestone, who serves the second game of a three-match ban, but fellow midfielder Evandro will return to contention after missing the last five games due to a calf injury.

Defender Omar Elabdellaoui missed Saturday's defeat of West Ham because of a back problem and will play no part on Wednesday night or at Manchester City on Saturday.

Silva has no new injury worries, but Dieumerci Mbokani, Ryan Mason, Moses Odubajo and Will Keane all remain sidelined.

Meanwhile, Agnew returns to Hull hoping his inside knowledge will help secure a priceless victory.

Agnew remembers his time on Humberside fondly having helped to steer the club back into the top flight and reach the FA Cup final.

However, he will hope to get one over on his former employers on Wednesday evening when, in his role as Boro's interim head coach, he heads back to familiar territory.

He said: "I know a lot of the players who are still there and I had a good relationship with them. I know their strengths, I know their weaknesses and I have a feel for the club because I had good times at Hull.

"They're on a good run of form, certainly at home. I think they have won four out of the five games for which Marco Silva has been in charge, so it's going to be a really difficult game.

"But again, with my knowledge - and I'm not going to give too much away - and understanding of Hull, I think that's an advantage for us."

What is not an advantage for Boro is their form heading into a game they simply cannot afford to lose and probably need to win if they are to get themselves out of trouble.

Agnew said: "I think we need to win the game. It is a big, big game for us and we need three points. But I'm quietly confident and so is the group of players.

"What I can tell you is, not just from myself, but a group of staff and players, we are determined to keep Middlesbrough Football Club in the Premier League and we will be doing everything we possibly can to make sure that happens."

Full-back Fabio da Silva will miss the match after suffering concussion.

The Brazilian will sit out the trip to the KCOM Stadium and Saturday's home clash with Burnley as a result of the head injury he sustained in Sunday's 0-0 draw at Swansea.

Midfielder Gaston Ramirez is a doubt with an ankle problem sustained during the same game, while defenders George Friend (calf) and Calum Chambers (foot) are closing in on returns.

Source: PAR