The Tigers are currently ninth in the table, while only the top two have picked up more points in their last six games. Since their opening day win over Fulham, bottom club Barnsley have lost four and drawn four of their eight league games at Oakwell. Their seven points from nine home games is the Championship’s worst record this season.
Struber, who has lost his first two games, told the Chronicle: “I am looking forward to my first home game. I am very hopeful that a lot of fans will come and make a good atmosphere in the stadium which is very important for the boys because they work very hard. We need to win this game against Hull.”
He added: “The guys need a lot of help from me and my staff to bring them up and I hope the performance on Saturday is the same or a little better than before and we create the result that we need. It is good to have another game so soon and we can create the turnaround in that game.”
Hull are managed by former Barnsley midfielder Grant McCann. The 39-year-old, who played 44 games for the Reds in 2006 and 2007, impressed with Doncaster Rovers last season before they lost in the League One play-off semi-finals to Charlton Athletic. He drew home and away in South Yorkshire derbies with Barnsley last season.
McCann then moved across Yorkshire to Hull and replaced Nigel Adkins, who left at the end of last season having led the Tigers to 13th place. After 11 new players were brought in during the summer, City endured a difficult start to the season with one win in their first seven league games. A 3-0 win at Luton Town and a 1-0 home success over Sheffield Wednesday took them away from the relegation zone.
Two losses were followed by three successive wins over Nottingham Forest, Derby County and high-flying Fulham who they beat 3-0 away from home. They lost to leaders West Brom before the latest international break then drew 2-2 against Middlesbrough on Sunday – having been 2-0 down – and cruised to a 4-0 success at home to high-flying Preston North End on Wednesday. Hull have lost only one of their last seven away games.
Callum Elder, the Australian left-back, played five games on loan to Barnsley from Leicester City in 2017. He moved to Hull in the summer and has started eight games including both of this week’s fixtures. Former Barnsley captain Angus MacDonald is also at Hull but is not playing as he battles bowel cancer.
This will be the 104th meeting of the two Yorkshire clubs who have each beaten each other 40 times. The last meeting was a 1-1 draw in Hull in February last year, the third match of Jose Morais’ tenure as this will be Struber’s third in charge. Oliver McBurnie opened the scoring before England international Michael Dawson levelled. Earlier in that season, Hull won 1-0 at Oakwell with a goal from another England player Fraizer Campbell with his side’s first shot on target in the 78th minute. Barnsley’s last win over Hull was in the previous game in April 2013 when Jacob Mellis and Chris O’Grady netted at Oakwell to avoid relegation against a side who would be promoted.