A Beckhamesque free kick from the boot of Dean Windass saw City ease past a very poor Sheffield Wednesday outfit, and to be objective we played quite badly and won whilst rarely looking troubled during what turned out to be a dull affair.
New Year’s Day saw a point gained at highflying Stoke City, who are my dark horse option for automatic promotion. The Sky reporter at the game was of the opinion that we dominated the match and really should have taken all three points, but one all would have seemed more than satisfactory at kick off, and after Tigers Alumni Leon Cort netted I was very happy with the final outcome.
One point of the business position of sixth, and a play off spot.
Can we dare hope for a crack at the Big Time and the Promised Land of the Premiership?
Over thirty years of following City through thin, thinner and the odd bit of thick suggests why not?
Objectively this is the best Hull City team I have witnessed since the halcyon days of Brian Horton and finishing sixth in 1986, the year I left for Ireland.
Brown seems to have grown into the job and I feel a lot more confident now the aforementioned Horton is firmly established as Assistant, and one with real influence.
The tactics are now appropriate, 4-4-2, and with the correct personnel in the first choice eleven, even Hughes has been more effective of late and Livermore is pragmatism rather than the (usually) vain hope that Dean Marney will actually produce a decent pass.
McPhee and Elliot are in the departure lounge, whilst the Okocha farce seems close to denouement with the Nigerian not even on the bench these days.
More importantly, there seems to be a collective will that we are actually a decent side and that the table doesn’t lie, now even the famously fickle fans seem to be buying in to the concept that we can do something this season.
There is some daft talk about not wanting to go up. We’d be cannon fodder. What about Bradford, Swindon et al?
Errr… Have I missed something here? Don’t we go week in and week out wanting to win every game? I was at the Grove a couple of weeks ago and believe me, I would love to go there as an away supporter, and to Shite Hart Lane, Anfield or Stamford Bridge while we’re at it. And imagine hosting Manchester United. What a buzz.
Stupid talk. Even if we had a disastrous season on the pitch, there is the small matter of £20 million in parachute payments, so assuming the Chairman held his nerve and kept the Management structure in place, we could still be relegated and be in good shape for another crack. Watford and Aidy Boothroyd anyone?
Five league games unbeaten, against some decent Clubs, defensive solidity plus three fearsome strikers in Campbell, Folan and Windass who are all in good nick means we just need to believe in ourselves, and that means the staff, players and us, the fans.
Hull City: Myhill, Ricketts, Turner, Brown, Dawson, Garcia, Ashbee, Livermore, Hughes, Folan (Barmby 81), Campbell (Windass 24), Windass (Delaney 89).
Subs Not Used: Duke, Marney.