The Spaniard spent the 2015/16 campaign on loan at St. Andrew’s and made a huge impression for the West Midlands outfit, scoring eight goals in 40 appearances in all competitions, with his contribution on the pitch seeing him pick up the Players’ Player, Supporters’ Player and Goal of the Season awards for the Blues.
However, Toral was quick to stress there will be no room for sentiment ahead of his return and says his focus is firmly on helping the Tigers pick up what would be a vital three points.
“I have very happy memories of my time at Birmingham and of playing at St. Andrew’s,” he said.
“It’s a place that I really like and enjoyed some good times. It will be nice to see the lads, staff and people that are still at the club from when I was on loan there.
“But, now it’s time for me to perform there in a Hull City shirt. At the end of the day, it will be a case of business as usual. I’ll be going there with the sole aim of trying to help us the win and claim a vital three points.
“It’s going to be tough – like every game in the Championship is – because they’ve got very good players that can make it complicated for any team in this league.
“That was the case last weekend when they got a good result away at West Brom, so we know we’re going to have to be at the top of our game to get something.
“Everyone in the dressing room has to believe in our ability as a team and what we can do together. With that belief, hopefully we’ll get the performance we need to pick up the win.”
As is the new normal across the footballing world following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, Saturday’s game will be played without fans at St. Andrew’s – although the 25-year-old knows the black and amber faithful will be cheering the team from the comfort of their own homes.
“It’s something we need to adapt to. At the beginning (against Charlton), it was a bit weird but that is how it’s going to be until the end of the season now, so the quicker we get used to it the better.
“We can’t use that as an excuse. It’s the same for every team – having to play without the fans getting behind them. It’s something we’d rather have but it’s the world we live in right now.
“Hopefully in these next eight games we can give our fans something to shout about at home. We know the support will be there – with the fans watching games at home – and we need to go to Birmingham and get a result for them.”
Last weekend’s home defeat to Charlton saw the Tigers drop into the Championship’s bottom three for the first time this season. Despite that fact, Toral is confident there is enough determination, desire and talent within the dressing room to see Grant McCann’s side move away from danger over the course of next eight games.
“It was a difficult way to start the season up again against Charlton and the result was not what we wanted,” he added.
“Obviously we don’t want to be where are in the table but the only way to get our ourselves away from danger is to win games and we need to focus on doing that.
“I believe in the team, I believe in the players and we’re going to work our hardest to get out of trouble. Everyone is focused on the task in hand and knows what we need to do.”