In my latest preview of Leicester City’s Npower Championship opponents 2011/2012, I give my thoughts on Nigel Pearson’s Hull City side. Pearson had plenty of success while at Leicester, but can he also do the same with Hull as he looks to steer them into the play-offs this season. The side finished in a commendable 11th place in 10/11, but for a team who suffered relegation from the Premier League only one year ago you suspect that they will be challenging for promotion this time around, what will the season bring to Hull City and their supporters…
Hull City are a side full of calibre, as last season’s solid performance in the Championship showed that they are a side still capable of challenging for the play-offs. Only a Premier League side two seasons ago, Hull have gone through some transitional changes as former Southampton and Leicester boss Nigel Pearson, will take charge of the Tigers for a second consecutive campaign. With Hull capable of challenging for the play-offs, they should be amongst the top ten for most of the season as Pearson has eventually grasped the Hull City hotseat. Nigel Pearson has been intelligent with his signings this summer, as he has brought a vast of young talent mixed with experienced campaigners into the club. Providing competition for places, Paul McKenna could well turn out to be Hull City’s most influential signing, along with McKenna former Leicester player Jack Hobbs is a no nonsense defender, after being on loan at Hull City last season he has now made his move to the KC Stadium permanent. The Tigers are solid all over the field and from defence to attack; they have certain qualities which could warrant them with a decent placed finish in 2011/2012.
Hull City’s potential strike force of Matty Fryatt, Aaron McLean and Jay Simpson should cause plenty of problems this season. All goal scorers by name, the trio could well prove to be one of the most exciting attacking forces in the Npower Championship, Fryatt is a natural goalscorer who can provide a clinical finish anywhere around the 18 yard box. McLean is a physical player who has a quick turn of pace and a solid eye for goal, McLean was a massive hit with the Peterborough fans while plying his trade at London Road, and since Hull City snapped him up from this season’s Championship rivals the strike force of Fryatt and McLean has proved to be deadly. Finally another key part to Hull City’s game will be the performances of their midfielders, new signing Paul McKenna and powerhouse Seyi Olofinjana are rugged type players who like to sit back aswell as attack, both are capable of crunching tackles aswell as playing tidy football with their feet. Also on a more attacking note, the midfield duo of Robert Koren and Tom Cairney are the playmakers of the Hull City team, as both are very dangerous when going forward. Hull City this season will be an almighty force on the attack.
Manager – Nigel Pearson
Nigel Pearson’s managerial C.V is currently beaming with success, saving a club from the brink of relegation in Southampton, to then securing the League 1 title with Leicester City then guiding the Foxes to the play-offs a season later is some achievement, due to those accomplishments Pearson is currently noted to be one of the best managers in the Npower Championship. Last season though Pearson joined up with Hull City at the end of the 10/11 campaign, his first season at the KC Stadium was mediocre to say the least, after a poor start to the season luckily for Pearson his side developed as the campaign went on, and they ended up finishing in 11th place. Many people may right off Hull City in 2011/2012; however with Nigel Pearson in charge they may surprise a few football fans, as he will look to guide them into the play-off mix towards the end of the campaign, promotion certainly isn’t out of the question if you’re the manager of Hull City.
Ins and Outs
Ins – Corry Evans(Manchester United), Joe Dudgeon(Manchester United), Dele Adebola(Nottingham Forest), Jack Hobbs(Leicester), Paul McKenna(Nottingham Forest), Peter Gulacsi(Liverpool), Robert Brady(Manachester United), Adriano Basso(Wolves)
Outs – Nolberto Solano(Hartlepool), Liam Cooper(Huddersfield), Mark Cullen(Bury), Matt Duke(Released), Anthony Gardner(Released), Craig Fagan(Released), Tijiani Belaid(Released)
Hull City is a side that should be challenging for a play-off place, with the league looking more superior though a top ten finish should be an acceptable finishing position for Hull City this season. The Tigers could well perform slightly better than last season, and maybe even creep into the play-off places towards the end of the 2011/2012 campaign; however even with a strike force capable of scoring goals, other teams are looking better equipped than Hull City at this present time. Prediction – 10th