WHEN asked what was his biggest strength following his big-money signing, Hull City striker Nick Proschwitz delivered his answer with a typical sense of Teutonic certainty.
The German forward, without a moment’s hesitation, replied: ‘I can score.’ ‘Good answer’ said his manager. Next question...
It was iconic commentator David Coleman who famously once said about Kevin Keegan – an Englishman who subsequently became loved in Germany – that ‘goals pay the rent and Keegan gets his fair share.’
For Proschwitz – and Tigers manager Steve Bruce for that matter – some early goal-scoring deposits following his arrival for a fee just short of £2.6m will secure instant credit with supporters left to bemoan City’s goal-shy statistics in 2011-12 which probably cost them a Championship play-off place in the final analysis last season as they finished eighth.
A total of 47 goals in 46 games told its own story, with only one striker, Matty Fryatt, breaching double figures.
While there is plenty of expectancy on the shoulders of Proschwitz – the first seven-figure arrival since the Premier League glory days – he does not feel it.
The 25-year-old, top-scorer in the German second division with 17 goals in 33 games for SC Paderborn last term, is embracing it as he starts out on a mission to take Hull back into the top flight.
Proschwitz, who has signed a three-year-deal with Hull, said: “I don’t feel pressure. I like to help my team with goals and it’s okay.
“I’ve not been here a long time but I think the connection between the players and coaches is great and I feel we can reach our big goal this year.
“The manager said last year he was in the Premiership and that he will go back.
“In Germany, you can watch the FA Cup on free television and when you watch Sky, you can see maybe three games a week in the Premier League. I like to watch the big teams and it would be a big thing for me to play there.”
Proschwitz, the first German to wear the amber and black of Hull, arrives as an unknown quantity, but Bruce – on his trail for the past year – is confident his attributes, which offer a bit of a throwback to the time when nearly every English side fielded a tall, imposing striker, will enable him to prosper.
Given his height of 6ft 3in, his aerial prowess is obvious, but Bruce insists Proschwitz has much more in his locker, including impressive pace.
Bruce said: “The one thing that endeared me to Nick is that he’s a traditional big English type who will work hard for the team and score goals. Physically, he also enjoys the challenge and offers something different to what we’ve got.
“Where we used to have an abundance of big strikers in this country, we don’t any more. The Championship will suit him, otherwise I wouldn’t have bought him. He’ll enjoy and relish the challenge of it.”
Last six games: Hull City LWWDWL, Rotherham United DDWLWW.
Last time: Hull City 0 Rotherham United 0; November 6, 1999; Division Three.
Referee: Darren Sheldrake (Surrey).
SkyBet odds: Hull to win 4-7; Rotherham to win 9-2; Draw 11-4.