Gary Clark, author of the above book and of the fine preview of Hull v SAFC in December, has returned. As if to shame the hard-of-thinking fellow Tigers at the City Independent site who promised to preview the most important game of each club’s season, but may have been joking (without realising the joke was unfunny), he has again come up trumps on Sunderland v Hull. But he is also determined to do it in stages. Can we stand the sequence? You judge…
Phil Brown has divided this season up into little mini league segments, like a Chocolate Orange, we stuffed our faces at the start of it, now we are scrambling around for the bits, and feeling a bit sick.
With six games to go Hull City need perhaps six points to guarantee safety, a point a game, sounds easy doesnt it? It perhaps would be if three of those games were not against Liverpool and Manchester United at home and Aston Villa away. We also have Bolton away and of course yourselves. I have seen Hull win at Aston Villa in a league games, only just a tad over 40 years ago but I have never seen us win at Bolton. Our other remaining home game is against Stoke City, so you do not have to be Albert Einstein to work out the games Brown will have targeted for those extra points. Er, it’s you – Sunderland – and Stoke!
So how have we done in our club’s first ever season in the top league? Up until Christmas we all wondered what all the fuss was about.
Until the last ten minutes against your lads at the KC, a week before Christmas, we were seriously looking at European qualification or at least enougth points in the bag to avoid relegation by New Years Eve. That final ten minutes and of course Mike Riley, the referee from hell, changed the course of our season. The four goals you scored also had a bearing mind.
If we had started the season in the form we are in now which is nailbitingly poor and then sprung a couple of late surprise results, (if winning at Arsenal can be classed as a “surprise”, that should be in the “miracle” catergory), and climbed to the lofty position of 17th we would have all been highly delighted. 17th place has always been the realistic fans target.
City have yet to be in 17th place and that’s why there is an air of disappointment and dare I say failure from some quarters. Yet only eleven years ago, almost to the day, we were getting beat by Doncaster Rovers the 92nd placed club in the league and we were only two places above them! And I heard some Tigers fans complaining at half time last Saturday v Middlesboro that the club do not know what thay are doing!
Personally the season is panning out exactly as I expected, we are losing enougth games to drop down to 17th place, I just hope the club puts the hand brake on when we finally achieve it. We have boxed way above our weight at the start of the campaign and perhaps we are feeling the strain a bit now but I do think we squirreled enough points away before we were found out to scrape to safety.
As for Sunderland? I do not like to intrude on personal grief but without studying your fixtures I would have thought all of you will be having as many restless nights sleep as we are.