Marco Silva claims his Hull players can handle 'big pressure'
Hull manager Marco Silva thinks his players are handling the pressure well as the fight to remain in the Premier League reaches its crucial stage.
Silva's side remain two points above the drop zone despite successive 3-1 defeats at Manchester City and Stoke.
Hull hope to have more home comforts when they return to the KCOM Stadium against Watford on Saturday where they are unbeaten since the Portuguese took charge in January.
Maintaining that record might see them edge further clear of nearest rivals Swansea, who host Stoke.
''It is normal pressure, big pressure yes but all the teams have pressure,'' said Silva at his pre-match press conference.
''But it is important you feel comfortable with the pressure, we need to put a big attitude in the match to win.
''I want my players to play the same as what we show at home, but I want them calm. It's not easy to keep them calm, since I come we have been under pressure.
''Sometimes we are not the best in the first half. It is impossible that we don't feel pressure but we need to stay comfortable and this has been a normal week and the players work hard.''
Bottom-of-the-table Sunderland are nine points behind Hull while their north east neighbours Middlesbrough are six adrift of the Tigers but Silva has not written off their chances of staging a great escape.
He said: ''We'll see if it is a straight shoot out, it is impossible for me to count Sunderland and Middlesbrough out. One bad weekend and the other teams win and all of a sudden they are in the fight.''
Watford arrive at the KCOM Stadium 10 points ahead of Hull in 10th place in the table, with their Premier League status all-but assured for another season.
''This means they can play without pressure,'' said Silva. ''They feel comfortable on 40 points. I talk about pressure but they have none. They can play free football.
''But I feel my players are ready for the fight. They are not happy with the last result and what I feel during the week is our players train hard. They are good players, they never lose organisation and we need to be calm tomorrow and be patient to do good things and put problems on the opponent.''
Silva will pick from an unchanged squad. He has options should he wish to make changes following the defeat against Stoke, with Abel Hernandez and Ahmed Elmohamady pushing for recalls after starting on the bench at the bet365 Stadium.
Defender Omar Elabdellaoui's back problem will keep him on the sidelines while Ryan Mason, Moses Odubajo and Will Keane are also absent through injury.