Victory against Crystal Palace has changed Tigers’ outlook
28 April ~ What a difference a result makes. If you’d have asked most Hull fans if we had any chance of staying up before the Crystal Palace game, you’d have been met with the blank stares of fans who still remember when we appointed Iain Dowie to save our season the last time we were in this position. A couple of Dame N’Doye strikes later and there’s a hint of cautious optimism on the banks of the Humber. A quick glance at the fixture list though is enough to put a dampener on those burgeoning fires.
Liverpool tonight is the first of four games against the top six in the Premier League, throw in a huge six-pointer against Burnley and there’s little doubt City have the trickiest run-in of any of the relegation candidates. Despite this there is still hope that we can stay in the Premier League for a third consecutive season.
Liverpool arrive in poor form with their Champions League aspirations hanging on by a thread and seemingly a growing frustration with the Brendan Rodgers regime. Couple this with the fact that City have a surprisingly good Premier League record in these fixtures, managing to take points in four of the seven games played (including a hard-fought 0-0 at Anfield earlier this year) and there is the potential for an upset.
Much of this will depend on how the invariably defensive-minded Steve Bruce approaches the match. In recent games we have lined up with so many centre-backs it’s a wonder (and a relief) he hasn’t stripped off himself. Against Crystal Palace though he got the balance right and we were good value for the three points. If we are going to get anything out of Liverpool, we need to stick to this newfound belief that if you are going to win football matches, it helps if you score a goal.
Few Hull fans would say this particular match will make-or-break our season, if there is any game out of our final five fixtures we have to win it would be against Burnley on May 9, but a precious point on the way would help ease the pressure on that match. Four out of our last five games come at home and we should be targeting five more points to secure survival. Josh Stephenson