Hull City’s Half Term Report
Despite a series of unfortunate off the field distractions, Steve Bruce’s team have acquitted themselves beyond most peoples’ expectations in the opening half of the season. Few observers had expected them to be in mid table at the turn of the year.
January 3rd, 2014
The Tigers sit currently in 10th position; the gap held over the bottom three is six points as we move into the second half of the season.
For a side newly promoted to the Premier League, City have surprised many opponents by quickly adapting to the demands of the Premier League.
Relegation now seems like an unimaginable prospect. The possibility of a catastrophic collapse in form like the one under Phil Brown, is not likely under the more experienced Bruce.
The manager has challenged his team to eclipse their 2013 heroics by building for a long-term future in the Premier League in the next 12 months.
Bruce told the Hull Daily Mail, he still wants to set targets for an improved 2014.
“It’s been a great 2013 for us all. We had a difficult run to promotion but we got there and now we’ve bounced into the Premier League with 23 points from 19 games,” Bruce said. “Can we go and repeat that now and make sure we’re here for another year? I’ll not be a happy man until we’ve managed that.”
“My ambition is to be here for a long time and I’m sure the same goes for the players. It’s been an excellent 12 months but the important thing is to try and keep improving in 2014. That’s the challenge for us all now.”
Only Norwich in 1994-95 have reached the turn of the year in the top half of the table and gone on to be relegated.
There have been many highlights in the first half of the season but the historic first ever victory against a full strength Liverpool, the 3-2 win at St James’ Park and the 6-0 demolition of Fulham are many fans’ favourites.
Most of the players have stood up well to the challenges of the competition but three players in particular have stood out for me.
The hirsute Tom Huddlestone has been a revelation since his transfer from Spurs, the accomplished midfielder has been so impressive that he may yet squeeze into England’s squad for the World Cup in Brazil.
Last season’s Player of the Year Ahmed Elmohamady has been an ever present this term and has continued to work tirelessly for his teammates.
Maynor Figueroa is one of the most experienced left backs in the Premier League and his performances have been a major reason why the City defence has been so solid during this season.
City march into 2014 in tenth position with 23 points from 20 games. Sunderland stayed up with 39 points last season and the 40-point mark should secure their Premier League status for another season.