THE first serious test of what many Premier League managers have considered to be a debilitating schedule of Thursday-Sunday games comes tomorrow for Hull City.
After travelling to Belgium for the Europa League qualifying round play-off first leg tie with KSC Lokeren on Thursday, the Tigers have had to immediately switch their attention back to the league and the impending visit of Stoke City to the KC Stadium.
In an attempt to minimise the disruption, Steve Bruce and the Hull squad headed straight from the Daknamstadion back to Ostend for the flight home immediately after Thursday’s 1-0 loss.
The party touched down at Humberside Airport shortly after midnight so, in theory, the XI Bruce sends out tomorrow should be fresh, especially with him having made nine changes to the starting line-up that triumphed 1-0 at QPR a week ago.
City have had something of a dummy run with the home leg against Trencin in the third qualifying round being followed by a 2-1 friendly victory in Germany against Stuttgart just three days later.
It is this experience that Liam Rosenior believes has proved to the Hull camp that they can cope with the dual demands of European and domestic football.
“I found the travelling fine in the first round,” said the full-back, who captained the side in Belgium. “To me, it is no different to playing in the Championship when it is Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday-Tuesday week after week after week.
“This is no different. A lot of the players have been used to that in their career. And then there are the others who have played in Europe before. They will be used to it.
“Europe is something I am looking forward to. And relishing being part of. There are no negatives on our part.”