Season previews: Hull City | Barclays Premier League

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Friday 25 July 2014

Season previews: 'Camaraderie is Hull's greatest strength'

Our club-by-club guide ahead of the start of the 2014/15 Barclays Premier League campaign

  • Winger Tom Ince is one of three arrivals to the KC Stadium so far this summer

  • Curtis Davies was Hull City's player-of-the-year last season

  • Hull City have played at the KC Stadium since the end of 2002

  • Shane Long and Nikica Jelavic top scored for Hull City last season

Hull City

Head coach: Steve Bruce (8 June 2012)
Home ground: KC Stadium
Players in: Jake Livermore, Robert Snodgrass, Tom Ince
First five BPL matches:
Queens Park Rangers (A), Stoke City (H), Aston Villa (A), West Ham United (H), Newcastle United (A)

Hull City’s 2013/14 player of the year Curtis Davies described progression to the club’s first ever FA Cup final last season as a "massive achievement" and the Tigers will play in the UEFA Europa League after a landmark campaign.

The Wembley Stadium showpiece ended in an extra-time defeat to Arsenal, but the season was their best yet in Barclays Premier League history as they secured safety with a club-record 16th-place finish.

Davies played an instrumental role in the third-best defensive record outside of the top eight, with the Humberside club conceding 53 goals in 38 matches. A 3-5-2 system was often utilised throughout the campaign, and Steve Bruce's charges only shipped 21 goals at home as KC Stadium became something of a fortress.

Hull scored an average of one goal a game, but an emphatic 6-0 rout of Fulham and a 3-1 home win over second-placed Liverpool showed the Tigers had plenty of bite up front. The January additions of Shane Long and Nikica Jelavic boosted their firepower as they finished four points above the drop zone.

Bruce has already signalled his intent to build upon their finest season in recent history with the signings of Jake Livermore, Robert Snodgrass and Tom Ince.

Livermore flourished after joining Hull on loan from Tottenham Hotspur last term and he combined with former Spurs team-mate Tom Huddlestone in an effective central midfield partnership. Livermore signed for the Tigers for an undisclosed club-record fee.

The 2014/15 season will be Hull's fourth in the Barclays Premier League, and their second in succession after Bruce guided the Tigers to automatic promotion from the Championship in 2012/13.

The former Manchester United centre-back, who was appointed as manager in June 2012, has also managed in the Barclays Premier League with Birmingham City, Wigan Athletic and Sunderland. As a player, Bruce played an integral role in the heart of Man United's defence as they won three Barclays Premier League titles in the first four seasons of the competition.

Their previous promotion to the top-flight was in 2008, when they rose to third place at the end of October after beating Spurs and Arsenal in a sensational start to their debut season. They ultimately faded and finished 17th, before being consigned to relegation after ending in 19th place the following campaign.

Hull start the 2014/15 league campaign with a trip to newly promoted Queens Park Rangers, and face home encounters with Stoke City, West Ham United and Manchester City before the end of September.

 

Best BPL finish
16th (2013/14)
Last five BPL finshes 16th N/A
N/A
N/A 19th
Seasons in the BPL
3 (2008/09-2009/10; 2013/14)
Most BPL appearances Andy Dawson/Geovanni (60)
Top BPL goalscorer Geovanni  (11)


The local view - David Burns (BBC Radio Humberside Morning Show presenter and Hull City reporter)

Hopes for the new season 

To stay in the league again and maybe make mid-table. They would have finished higher last season but reaching the FA Cup final meant momentum was lost in the league. (We'd all like another visit to Wembley again, though). The fans will be optimistic for another good season.

What are Hull City's strengths?

Their greatest strength is the sense of team and camaraderie and their flexibility to work whichever system the manager chooses. I note a couple of teams in the World Cup were playing three at the back which Steve Bruce wasn't sure would work last year, but it did. Their weakness is not enough goals and the left-side of defence was a problem in the latter half of last season, plus the stats show they weren't great in the second-half of matches. One worry may be the extra burden placed on the squad if they do well in the Europa League.

What does Steve Bruce bring to the club?

His man-management and his honesty. He's been outstanding.

What matches will the fans be looking forward to?

All of them, it's still a big adventure for the club. There are no matches they dread, what's not to like? It's the golden period in the club's history.

The club in three words

Never. Dull. Hull.

David Burns is on Twitter: @bbcburnsy

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Key Points

  • As part of our build-up to the new Barclays Premier League season, we take a look at all the clubs in the competition
  • Today, we preview Hull City
  • David Burns of BBC Radio Humberside gives us his take on Hull City's hopes for the campaign ahead