Ahead of Saturday's game at The Hawthorns, we
caught up with Tigers' fan Brad.
He gives his views on Hull's season so far, the
Saturday's game, and more. You
can follow Brad
on twitter @BradRial.
WERE NOW AT THE HALFWAY
STAGE OF THE SEASON, THOUGHTS ON HULLS
CAMPAIGN SO FAR?
It's been a bit of a mixed bag.
Failure in the three cup competitions has been disappointing, the Europa League
exit particularly so. All excitement I had for this season centred around being
in Europe so that has taken some getting over. As for the league, I think the
verdict would be, 'could do better'. City started well enough but then hit a
rotten run of form when they scored only twice in nine games. There has been an
upturn in fortunes recently though with two wins out of three, and fans are
hoping the victory over Everton can be the catalyst for a strong second half of
CURRENTLY SITTING IN 15th POSITION JUST TWO POINTS ABOVE THE BOTTOM THREE, ARE
YOU CONFIDENT CITY WILL AVOID THE DROP THIS SEASON?
I am. I feel there are
comfortably three worse sides in the division than City and in Steve Bruce, they
have the perfect man to get them out of the sticky situation they find
themselves in. They also have the squad, which on paper is good enough to finish
BE THE THIRD MEETING OF THE TWO CLUBS THIS SEASON, THOUGHTS ON THE PREVIOUS
GAMES BETWEEN THE SIDES? WHAT DID YOU MAKE OF ALBION?
I didn't attend the League Cup
game but from a City perspective it was bitterly disappointing to lose in the
manner that we did. The 0-0 draw in the league was fairly forgettable. Alan
Irvine had West Brom very well-drilled and they were a tough nut for City to
crack. Albion tend not to leak goals and when they do get beat, it is
often by the odd goal. With Tony Pulis now at the helm, I'd expect them to
retain that stubbornness at the back.
ANY ALBION PLAYERS STAND OUT IN THE PREVIOUS TWO MEETINGS?
Victor Anichebe was a handful at
the KC. I don't think I've ever seen a player more efficient at backing into a
defender than him. He is the master at it! The City defence struggled to cope
with him and he obviously won
Albion a first-half penalty, which Allan McGregor saved. Joleon
Lescott also impressed at the back. Steve Bruce was reportedly close to signing
Lescott last summer and City's loss seems to have been
FORMER BAGGIES CURTIS DAVIES AND PAUL MCSHANE DOING FOR YOU AT THE MOMENT?
Davies has had an okay season.
He was by far and away the Player of the Year during the 2013/14 campaign but he
has struggled to reach those heights this time round. At times he has looked a
little shaky but he is still one of the first names on the teamsheet.
McShane is something of a cult
hero at City and the day he leaves will be a sad one. Steve Bruce has
revitalised his Tigers career and he's no longer seen as the scapegoat he was a
few years ago. He isn't first-choice at the back but when he plays he lets
THE CLUB NEEDS TO DO DURING THE JANUARY TRANSFER WINDOW?
I think another striker is
required. Abel Hernandez and Nikica Jelavic are very much first-choice but if
one of them gets injured, City are a bit thin on the ground. Bruce confirmed his
interest in Jermain Defoe last week and he'd be a brilliant addition on loan.
WHAT TEAM AND TACTICS ARE WE LIKELY TO SEE FROM HULL ON SATURDAY?
Good question. Injuries are
starting to rack up and City will be without Andy Robertson, Liam Rosenior and
Gaston Ramirez on Saturday, as well as long-term absentees Mohamed Diame and
Robert Snodgrass. Bruce has favoured a 4-4-2 in recent weeks but a return to the
3-5-2 against Albion may suit the players he has at his disposal. If he does go
with that, then I'd expect a line-up of McGregor; Chester, Bruce, Davies;
Elmohamady, Livermore, Huddlestone, Meyler, Brady; Jelavic, Hernandez.
PLAYER OF THE SEASON SO FAR?
Andy Robertson, who is
unfortunately injured for Saturday's game. He has been a breath of fresh air
since joining and has taken to the Premier League seamlessly. For such an
inexperienced player, he is fearless. He's got pace to burn and a wand of a left
foot and the £2.85m City paid to Dundee United is looking like a steal. He's
suffered from a few lapses in concentration at the back but he will iron that
out of his game in time. If his form continues during the second half of the
season, City will do well to hold on to him in the summer.
Mohamed Diame would be a close
second. His goalscoring exploits have taken everyone by surprise and he has been
a huge miss recently.
BEEN PARTICULARLY DISAPPOINTING?
Tom Huddlestone. On his day,
there are few better passers of the ball in the league but unfortunately those
days have been few and far between this season. He's struggled to make a
meaningful impact on games and it is telling that he wasn't really missed during
his recent four-match ban. As daft as it may sound, he hasn't been the same
since he cut his hair this time last year.
PLAYED ALL OTHER TEAMS, WHICH ONE HAS IMPRESSED YOU THE MOST THIS SEASON AND
Man City were pretty ruthless
when they won at the KC in September. They were 2-0 up after 11 minutes and at
one point it genuinely looked like they could get into double figures. (Hull)
City came back into it with two goals of their own but Pellegrini's men were
just too strong in the end. They have goals right through the side and I think
the impending signing of Wilfried Bony might just swing the title their way.
Burnley, Aston Villa, Leicester
AND THOUGHTS ON THE GAME?
I'd be surprised if we saw more
than a couple of goals in this one. Pulis' sides are traditionally hard to beat
and I can see it being a tight, scrappy game. My glass is always half full with
City so I'll be bold and predict a 1-0 away win.