Hull City

Burke: Strong Home Form Is Essential

08 November 2019
Reece Burke has emphasised the importance of Hull City’s home form ahead of West Bromwich Albion’s visit to the KCOM Stadium on Saturday.

The Tigers head into the clash with the Sky Bet Championship leaders having lost just once on home soil in the past two months, a run which includes victories over Sheffield Wednesday and Derby County in two of their previous three outings in HU3.

And the centre-back is keen to see Grant McCann’s men build on that in order to turn the KCOM into a daunting place to travel to for opposition sides.

“For us to achieve our goals this season, we know our home form is going to be massively important,” he said.

“We want the KCOM to be a hard place for opposition sides to come and play. We went on a positive run of form last year and there is no reason why we can’t do it again.

“We know it won’t be easy because of just how tough the Championship is but we’re progressing as a team and everyone is enjoying the way the gaffer wants us to play. As a group, we have a better understanding of his style and philosophy.

“Everyone is up for the challenge of keeping this little run going. We know it will be hard to maintain that going forward but, if we focus game-by-game, hopefully, we can keep picking up the positive results, especially on home soil.”

Burke is likely to achieve a half-century of appearances in black and amber against the Baggies this weekend – a statistic that more than validates his decision to make the move to East Yorkshire from boyhood club West Ham United in the summer of 2018 in search of regular first-team football.

“That was my aim before I signed for Hull City,” he added. “I knew it was a big club but my main reason was to try and get games. I’m a footballer at the end of the day and I want to play football.

“It’s all worked well so far. The more games I’m playing, the better I’m getting with the experience. That’s the main thing for me. I like to learn by playing games.

“I feel like I’ve grown into the league a lot more. The clubs I’d been at previously in the Championship it was a bit stop-start with me being in and out of the team.

“As footballers, we are always looking to learn and improve, and, on a personal note, I feel as though I am still developing as a player.

“Overall, I feel as though I am playing quite well at the moment but I know the areas in which I need to improve. I’d like to be a bit better on the ball and be more effective as a ball-playing centre-half.

“That is the way of the modern game and you need to be able to play the ball through lines and break your opponent’s press.

“With the way the gaffer wants us to play, the centre-backs need to be right on it. If I can develop that part of my game it will benefit the team and myself.

“I’d also say I need to be a bit more dominant in the air but the more games I play, the more I will learn and the more experience I will gain from going up against different players and styles. I try to take it all in and look to learn week in, week out.”