Michael Owen has missed his side's last five games with an ankle problem, is confident he will spearhead a fight against relegation when his team travel to the KC Stadium to take on their fellow strugglers.
Owen Set For Toon Cup Final?
Owen: "The game at Hull City is, at the moment, shaping up to be our cup final and the other games against those teams around us, Stoke, Portsmouth and Middlesbrough, could also be crucial.
"We have got some tough matches coming up, but we've also got some very winnable games - games, which, if we do win them, will put our biggest rivals in trouble.
"The trip to Hull in 10 days' time looks nailed on for my return to action and I can hardly wait to get back from this ankle injury and help the lads in the fight to pull away to safety, a fight we are all confident we can win.
"There's no denying that we're in the middle of the relegation scrap but myself and the lads have no doubt in our minds that we have enough quality to pull clear.
"However, this is now the time when we have to stand up and be counted, just like we did last year when we put together a very good seven-match unbeaten run.
"The sort of sequence is well within our capabilities and while we have three tough fixtures at home in a row - starting against the European champions [Manchester United] and continuing with Arsenal and Chelsea - it is the games against teams around us that will be most significant."