AS someone who once wore the red and white of Sunderland, Ahmed Elmohamady is not supposed to enjoy a trip to Newcastle United.
But, after scoring at St James’ Park a year ago in what proved to be a pivotal win in Hull City’s season, the Egyptian international can not wait for tomorrow’s game to come around.
He said: “Newcastle is always a tough game. St James’ Park is very passionate and the fans really make a lot of noise. But we beat them last year and are looking forward to getting the three points this year. It would be a big boost for us to do that.
“I enjoy going there, even as a former Sunderland player. I scored there last year and it would be nice to score again this year and help us win.
“That (3-2 win) was a big moment in our season last time. We won at Newcastle and then West Ham at home straight after it, six points from two matches. We can’t do that this time but four points would still be good. It will be a tough one but we’re looking forward to it.”
As was the case in 2008 when Hull’s visit coincided with the natives protesting at what they perceived to be a ‘Cockney Mafia’ after Kevin Keegan had quit, tomorrow’s trip to Tyneside is likely to be played out to the background of unrest.
Supporters are unhappy with manager Alan Pardew, who faced calls to go once again last weekend in the wake of a 4-0 defeat at Southampton.
City, therefore, will be hoping to capitalise and build on what was a hugely encouraging 2-2 draw with West Ham United on Monday night.
Abel Hernandez and Mohamed Diame both capped impressive debuts by finding the net and Elmohamady believes there is plenty to build on.
He said: “It was a good game to be part of but still disappointing not to get the three points. West Ham are a tough team but I thought we would win the game.
“The lads were class. We played a lot of good football, which should not be a surprise to anyone after the players we have signed.
“I had played against Mo for the national team but I knew they were all really good players. You could see by scoring on their debuts what good players they are.”
Elmohamady created Hernandez’s 39th-minute opener with a typically inviting cross from the right flank. “Abel had been away with the national team, so we hadn’t seen much of him. But he is a great lad and it was a great header. The finish was class. He got the ball perfectly and he was also unlucky not to score a second.
“I thought he also looked fantastic on the ball. He looked assured and wanted to run at the opposition. He went past a lot of them. That is a good sign. I think all of them will make a difference to our squad.”