TIM KRUL has urged his Newcastle United team-mates to use last weekend's 1-0 win over Aston Villa as a springboard for the final two-and-a-half months of the season.
Sunday's last-gasp success ended a run of five successive home defeats and lifted the Magpies back above Southampton into eighth position.
While only fifth place is currently guaranteed to secure a place in next season's Europa League, the side finishing seventh could qualify if Manchester City win tomorrow's Capital One Cup final and another side in the top five triumph in the FA Cup.
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The possibility of European football remains open, and after a difficult spell that featured heavy defeats to Sunderland, Chelsea and Tottenham, Krul feels Newcastle are now well positioned to attack their remaining 11 matches with confidence.
“We've got something to build on for the final few months of the season,” said the Magpies goalkeeper. “With all of our key players back, we can now look at this as the start of the run in.
“The win against Aston Villa should kick-start us and we want to go on a run similar to the one we had in the early part of the season.
“We should see this as a line drawn in the sand, and the start of something we need to sustain to the finish. We have 11 games left, and we need to make sure our form is high in all of them.”
Hull claimed a surprise 3-2 success on Tyneside last September, and go into this afternoon's game on the back of just one defeat from their last six matches.
Steve Bruce's side will take on Sunderland in an FA Cup quarter-final next week, but Krul does not feel Newcastle have anything to fear from a trip to the KC Stadium.
“It won't be easy going to Hull, but they are a team we have to be looking to take on and beat,” he said. “If we play with the same effort and intensity we displayed against Aston Villa, especially towards the end of the game, I don't think they'll be able to live with us.
“Play like that, and we should be beating most teams in the league. Hull have been on a good run in the last few matches, but there's nothing for us to fear in their play.”
Alan Pardew is set to name the same side that started against Aston Villa last weekend, with Davide Santon and Hatem Ben Arfa both still unavailable because of injury.
Santon has a knee injury that has prevented him from training all week, while Ben Arfa has been put on a special strength and conditioning programme in an attempt to solve a groin problem.
Sammy Ameobi is also unavailable because of a knee problem, and while Sylvain Marveaux is fit, the Frenchman remains out of favour and will not be recalled to the squad.