Vital Hull City has kindly shared their thoughts ahead of Saturday’s Season opener at the KC Stadium
Vital Hull City has kindly shared their thoughts ahead of Saturday’s Season opener at the KC Stadium.
Rob Overfield gives his views and predicts Saturday’s match and the season ahead:
After relegation from the Premiership, is new manager Nigel Pearson the man to give you an instant return to the top flight? What’s your opinion of the new boss?
After the departure of Phil Brown, Iain Dowie was never going to make himself popular with the TigerNation and save the club so relegation was the result. Nigel Pearson came in under the radar so to speak, but with the reputation he`s gained with Leicester City, he seems to be the kind of manager we needed. He`s fully aware of the position within the club and so he knows what he`s got to deal with. However most City fans believe that an instant return to the Premier League is beyond the team at the moment and anywhere around 10th and better would be a good season.
What’s happened over the Summer in terms of transfers in and out of the club? Do you have the quality to challenge for promotion?
It`s mostly been a case of shipping them out to cut the wage bill and the debt! The only inward signings have been that old campaigner Nolberto Solano and midfielder James Harper, who promptly got himself injured. All of the high wage earners and any player of any PL quality has pretty much left the club, keeper Myhill to West Brom was the most recent. However, the highest of them all, Jimmy Bullard has been a sticking point, it looks like we`ll have to allow for his £45k per week, that`s if he ever plays under Pearson, which isn`t certain. There are rumours about of a loan deal for an Arsenal youngster and also of John Bostock of Spurs joining for a season long loan but he`s a midfielder and not what most would call a priority.
How has your pre-season progressed? Have you looked strong in your friendly matches or have there been concerns over your performances over the Summer?
Pre-season has been pretty much as we expected. A defeat in Portugal against Sunderland was made more painful by a former Tigers loanee, Fraizer Campbell, netting all four goals! A fortunate victory over Dundee Utd last weekend showed that the squad is not that strong and that the season could be hard unless the club can get in some players through loans and frees, which is pretty much all we can afford. If you see reports of the Tigers paying a transfer fee, it`s unlikely to be accurate!
That`s been the greater concern has been the financial state of the club, as left by previous chairman, Paul Duffen. At one point it was estimated that the club owed up to £45 million, and that administration was a possibility, but solid work by new Head of Football Operations Adam Pearson has got that down to a level which is manageable. Cuts have been made through the above moves and the debt is now half what it was. The club is still having to try and get players out and although we don`t like it, we appreciate it has to be done.
Who should we look out for on Saturday?
Hard to say as we`re not entirely certain what the squad will look like come Saturday, but its expected that Tom Cairney will start in midfield. He`s a young midfielder with whom the club has great hopes for, having come through the club`s youth setup. He played a few times last season in the PL, and didn`t look fazed or over-awed. His touch is good, and looks like he can run the midfield.
What weaknesses do you have?
Strikers! Daniel Cousin is expected to leave (might already have done so by the time this is published!) leaving the club with just Craig Fagan, Caleb Folan, Richard Garcia and a promising youngster, Mark Cullen. There`s no question that these could be the weakest forward line we`ve ever had, and this will need to be addressed very quickly. Probably Nigel Pearson is doing just that, unless he has greater faith in the ability of the above than the fans do!
Your prediction for the game?
Some will hope that we can start with a win, but given our lack of firepower up front, a 0-0 draw seems a better option.
Thanks to Rob for answering our questions. We also answered Vital Hull’s questions, you can read them here