Hull are hoping Wednesday's Carling Cup tie against Everton can lift the gloom surrounding their slide into the bottom three of the Barclays Premier League.
The club's poor league run now stretches to just two wins from their last 28 matches and supporters are beginning to voice their disquiet with the team and manager Phil Brown.
Brown is expected to make a number of changes for the clash at the KC Stadium but believes progress to the fourth round could provide a timely confidence boost and assistant boss Brian Horton said: "We only dropped in the bottom three once last year and now we are in it. It might give us all a kick up the backside. We've now got to play Everton at home and they [players] should be relishing it."
He added: "If you can't raise your game for that, you shouldn't be here.
"You want Saturday out of your system because we just didn't perform. It was a crucial match and in games like that you have got to have seven or eight performing. We probably had two or three."
The euphoria of Hull's promotion in 2008 and their flying start to their first top-flight season has long since dissipated but Horton is confident the situation can be turned around.
"We're all under pressure at the top level," he said. "If you don't want pressure, don't be in it.
"If you want to be a manager or a coach at the top level, stay in it and prove people wrong."
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