Having returned to the Premier League at the first attempt, Hull City players have no doubt who they want in charge next season. Richard Sutcliffe reports.
AS Steve Bruce continues to ponder his Hull City future, Ahmed Elmohamady and Michael Dawson have united to urge their manager to stay.
The 55-year-old revealed in the wake of last weekend’s Championship play-off final victory over Sheffield Wednesday he had yet to decide whether to remain in charge at the KC Stadium.
It was the one shadow over an otherwise marvellous day for the Tigers, who will discover a fortnight today their fixture list for the 2016-17 Premier League season.
Bruce wants clarity on a much-touted possible takeover at the club plus assurances on what money will be available for team strengthening this summer. A meeting is planned with the Hull hierarchy in the coming days.
“Steve Bruce is the best man for the club,” said Elmohamady, who plans talks of his own with the powers-that-be at City due to his contract running out at the end of this month. “He is a very experienced manager, over 800 games, so he knows what he is doing.
“He has got the club promoted before and he has got the club promoted again. He is experienced on the big stages like Wembley and the Premier League so, hopefully, he will stay. He knows this club inside and out and he is the best person to manage the club. All the players like him.”
Tigers captain Dawson echoes that support of Bruce. “The gaffer was a big reason why, nearly two years ago, I joined Hull City (in 2014 from Tottenham Hotspur),” said the former England defender.
“He is a person who you regard highly as a player and a manager. To get another team promoted shows you he is a good manager.
“I want to see him at Hull City next year. Just getting promoted means I am sure he is still enjoying it, just like everyone else.”
As for Elmohamady’s own future, the Egyptian is one of six players heading out of contract. “We were talking around January about a contract and then the manager was talking to me after that,” said the 28-year-old, who played under Bruce at Sunderland before being reunited at the KC.
“But we decided to leave everything until after the season. We will start talking again soon and, hopefully, get everything sorted. I want to stay, of course. Why not? I have been here for four years and really enjoyed it.
“It is a good club with good fans and good players. It has been the best four years for me as a player and the club has done well. I hope we can get everything sorted.”
Elmohamady had the most difficult of his four years at Hull in 2015-16. A loss of form meant he dropped out of the starting XI for a time but a strong end to the campaign meant he was a shoo-in to start in the play-offs.
He now wants to take that improved form into the top flight, a level the wideman believes that City can compete at come August.
“It is up to the manager if he wants to bring in new players this summer,” he said. “But all of the players here are capable of playing in the Premier League.
“Most of these players have been there before and have experience. If we can stick together as a team then, hopefully, we can stay there and be in a better position than last time.”
Elmohamady, a member of the 2013 side that went up from the Championship, added: “This promotion feels better. It has been such a long season for us all but we got the job done and we are back in the Premier League.”