Livermore hoping to help Hull deliver surprise

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HE has only just met his new team-mates let alone properly trained with them, yet now faces the daunting prospect of being sent out to do battle with Chelsea.

However, it is often said football is a simple game made difficult.

By that premise, there will be no real surprise if Jake Livermore settles straight in for Hull City tomorrow and demonstrates just why the newly-promoted club were so keen to get him on a season-long loan from Tottenham.

Having arrived on Wednesday as part of a impressive double swoop by Tigers manager Steve Bruce, Spurs team-mate Tim Huddlestone also moving north in a club record £5.25m deal, the young midfielder sees no reason why he cannot help conjure up a major shock at Stamford Bridge.

“It’s a tough start but why not get teams like Chelsea out of the way first?” said Livermore. “Hopefully we can catch them cold.

“There’s going to be a few people writing us off as a club but obviously the manager and the chairman are looking to make a statement with the signings they’ve made.

“I’m really looking forward to it. It’s going to be difficult (survival) but that’s the same for every side in the Premier League.

“Every club has different expectations put on them but I think Hull can surprise a few people this season. That’s going to be great to be part of.”

At 23, and having already debuted for England in the friendly against Italy 12 months ago, it is perhaps confusing as to why Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas would let a player of such pedigree depart for an entire campaign.

However, it says plenty about the depth of talent at White Hart Lane – especially with fellow England international Huddlestone offloaded too – and also the enormity of Hull’s task as they bid to challenge among the elite.

“Last year was a frustrating one,” admitted Livermore, who was restricted to just 11 Premier League appearances but did face Inter Milan and Lyon in the Europa League.

“There was only limited game opportunities so when this came around and Steve Bruce showed his interest, I knew this was a great chance for me.

“The idea of any loan move is to go out and play games, to showcase yourself.

“When you’re at a big top-five club like Tottenham it’s difficult to show what you can do.

“Sometimes you get overlooked when the new signings come in.

“There’s a lot of good youngsters there under some great coaches like Tim Sherwood, but maybe this is the best option to show what you can do.

“Even the great young players have to go away from the big clubs. Players like Kyle Walker and Kyle Naughton, they have to go away to come back again.”

Bruce – whose side won plenty of praise for their attacking ideals when finishing as Championship runners-up last season – hopes Livermore will offer added threat and ability to the midfield he already has at his disposal.

When asked what his best position is, the Enfield-born player said: “In a 4-3-3 perhaps Tom would be the sitter and I’d play left or right. It’s not really an issue for me what side I play.

“I’d just be happy to get in that midfield role.

“The best thing about the manager here is that he’s open to a kind of fluidity, it’s not rigid. “Whoever starts in the midfield, he seems happy for it to be rolling.

“It’s great to work under a manager like Steve Bruce and with the lads all playing good football, it’s great to be involved in it.

“For me it was a no-brainer. Steve Bruce sold the club to me and it made it a very easy decision,” he added.

Although Livermore is essentially contracted long-term at White Hart Lane, he is unconcerned about what his future there may be under a manager who is clearly favouring a more continental approach given recent arrivals and departures.

“I’ve three years left at Spurs but if I’m honest all I’m focused on is playing here,” he said, having spent five games on loan at Leeds United in the spring of 2011.

“Whether or not I stay here after this season I don’t know. There’s a clause in the contract for Hull to buy if we stay up.

“I’m just taking each day as it comes for now. No matter what happens, my season starts on Sunday.

“The idea is to come here to play games, and keep this club in the Premier League.”

In the meantime, adding to that solitary international cap would be a welcome by-product of any success he has in Tigers colours.

“This time last year I was playing for England so obviously I’d like to get back to that stage,” added Livermore.

“Hopefully the first step starts here.

“Last year fell a little bit flat after that (England). There’s not a lot you can do with injuries – I picked one up after four games – and the new manager came in with new systems and new signings.

“Perhaps I should have got more playing time over the year but that’s football. I’m glad I’m here and it’s a fresh slate this season.”

dave.craven@ypn.co.uk