Grant McCann has set his players a two-points-per-game target and explained how he divides the season into phases of six.
Hull City are second in League One with 45 points from 24 matches, three points behind leaders Lincoln, who McCann’s men host twice in the next fortnight.
The Tigers’ five-match unbeaten league run at the start of 2021 – three wins, two draws – was ended by Accrington in midweek.
The boss is hoping for an instant riposte against struggling Swindon this afternoon and has challenged his team to accrue at least 12 points over the next six fixtures.
“The way we judge it is in phases,” McCann explained.
“That phase of six, we’ve come away with 11 points. We’re one point short of the two points a game we strive for in every six.
“We’ve got to try to make it up in the next six.
"It was a tough six games that we had there. It started at home to Charlton, away to Sunderland, Blackpool, Accrington, Portsmouth, Accrington.
“It doesn’t come much tougher than that in this division, with those six games. To come out with 11 points is okay. We wanted 12 but we’ve come away with 11.
“Now we’ve got to try to reproduce and get closer to that two points a game in the next six.
“It’s another tough six. Teams who are fighting for their lives at the bottom – people like Swindon and Burton. Then you’ve got teams in and around the top six in Ipswich, Doncaster, Lincoln.
“It’s a tough six games coming up and we want to try to improve on what we’ve done in the last six.
“If I look from the turn of year, with one defeat in seven (in all competitions), it’s been a good return. But we want to try and be better.”
The visit of Swindon this afternoon is the first of eight matches Hull City will play before the end of February.
That figure will increase to nine should the Tigers overcome Lincoln in the Papa John’s Trophy quarter-finals on Tuesday, with the semi-finals set for week commencing 15th February.
And McCann admits he will have little choice but to rotate his squad during this demanding run of games.
“It’s difficult,” said McCann. “We’ve gone three or four weeks now playing Saturday-Tuesday.
“If we can beat Lincoln on Tuesday night, we’ll end up having nine games from now until the end of February. It’s gruelling.
“It’s important you have the squad ready for when they’re called upon because there’s no way the same team can play in all nine games if we manage to beat Lincoln.
“We have to make sure we put a bit of freshness into the team when we can, to try to get the best out of the performances.”