Steve Bruce is determined to begin a "defining month" in Hull City's Premier League campaign in style when West Brom visit the KC Stadium.
Bruce's men arrested a worrying slide that had seen them lose four consecutive games with a 1-1 draw at Everton on Wednesday.
That result kept the Yorkshire club out of the bottom three on goal difference and Bruce is keen for his players to build on that performance in December, starting with a game against a West Brom team that also looks primed for a battle against the drop following a poor run of recent form.
"That performance [against Everton] was a bit more like what I've been used to seeing over the last two-and-a-half years," Bruce told Hull's official website.
"I hope that gives everybody a lift. We've got a huge month coming up now. For me, this is the defining month of the season."
West Brom sit just a point above Hull in 16th after they were beaten 2-1 at home by West Ham in result that marked their fourth consecutive defeat - though Craig Dawson's 10th-minute goal ensured they scored for the first time in that run.
The visitors' unwanted streak has ramped up the pressure on head coach Alan Irvine, who is now the bookmakers' favourite to be the next boss to leave his post.
That dip in form has tied in with that of top scorer Saido Berahino. The 21-year-old has eight goals to his name this term but has not netted since the 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace back in October, leaving West Brom with no potent threat up front.
However, Irvine is confident that Berahino will return form in the near future.
"There has been a lot of focus and emphasis on a young player," Irvine said.
"He has handled it well overall but I don't think anyone would be surprised if his form dropped off a little, which is what has probably happened.
"But I also believe he will come back, I think the goals will come again."
Taking on a team in Hull that has shipped 21 Premier League goals so far, Saturday's trip to the KC Stadium presents a good opportunity for Berahino to get back on the scoresheet, however, West Brom will be without two experienced midfielders for the journey north.
Chris Brunt is unavailable with a hamstring injury and Claudio Yacob is suspended but midfielder James Morrison and defender Sebastien Pocognoli have both returned to training.
Meanwhile, Hull have suffered a big blow with the news that Senegal international Mohamed Diame could be out for up to six weeks with tendinitis in his knee, joining long-term absentee Robert Snodgrass and the suspended Gaston Ramirez on the sidelines.
Bruce will hope club-record signing Abel Hernandez will return after the Uruguayan missed Hull's last two games due to the birth of his first child.comments