New month heralds new wave of optimism for Elmohamady

CONFIDENT: Hull City's Ahmed Elmohamady.  Picture: Bruce Rollinson.
CONFIDENT: Hull City's Ahmed Elmohamady. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.
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LIKE everyone at Hull City, Ahmed Elmohamady was not sorry to see the back of November.

Four games, no points and a tumble down the Premier League that by Tuesday night had seen the Tigers dumped into the bottom three for the first time under Steve Bruce.

That was all Hull had to show for a truly miserable month that ended with the relegation alarm bells being clearly audible at the KC Stadium.

Wednesday night’s draw at Everton may have turned the volume down slightly but, even so, there can be no doubting that tomorrow’s clash with West Bromwich Albion is a huge game for the Tigers, whose next assignment after the visit of Alan Irvine’s men will be a daunting trip to unbeaten leaders Chelsea.

Time, therefore, for Hull to claim what would only be their third win of the season.

“Our results have surprised me, if I am honest,” said Elmohamady of last month’s woeful run. “Some games we should have won. But sometimes in football you are unlucky.

“To be honest, though, we shouldn’t be in this position. We should be in the top 10 now, and it is a big disappointment that we are not.

“But it is still early in the season and I believe we can get to where we should be (in the table).

“There are important players to come into the team and we have a fantastic manager, so we can pick up the points that will take us into the top 10.”

November is not the only month in which Hull have failed to claim a point. January this year, for instance, yielded no points from a possible 12, but what set the most recent failings apart is there were no FA Cup wins to lift the mood.

Instead, the first half against Spurs apart, the Tigers were poor with the defeats to Manchester United, Burnley and Southampton seeing Bruce’s men muster a woeful tally of two shots on target.

Despite that, Elmohamady insists the mood was not as dark as some might imagine.

“The hardest time ever was being in the Championship trying to win promotion,” insists the Egyptian international, who joined Hull – initially on loan – a few weeks into the 2012-13 campaign.

“It is still early days for us in the Premier League.

“Sometimes it is hard in football, and it has been one of those times recently.

“November was a disappointing month for us, but it is a new month now with a lot of games to play.”

Elmohamady’s form has, at least, remained good, despite the club’s travails in slipping from 10th place at the end of October to their current standing of fourth bottom.

Tomorrow will be his 70th consecutive league start for the Tigers, a run that dates back to February, 2013, and his 100th domestic appearance for a club he joined permanently in a £2.5m deal.

“I am really enjoying it at Hull,” said the 27-year-old. “I have been here for two and a half years now and I have had great times – promotion, Premier League, an FA Cup Final. I am enjoying my football here, and happy playing with some great players and for the manager as well.

“The manager wants us to enjoy our football and we are. When you play football, you have to always be happy. Sometimes it can be hard because you are unlucky in a match.

“But, if you are not enjoying playing football, what can you do? The manager always gives us advice and encouragement and just tells the players to go and enjoy the football because that’s the most important thing.”

Hull’s results last month may not have led to too many happy, smiling faces on a matchday, but there was an undoubted sense of satisfaction among the travelling squad in the aftermath of the midweek draw at Everton.

Bruce had turned to his old guard ahead of kick-off as David Meyler, Stephen Quinn and Liam Rosenior were handed rare starts, while goalscorer Sone Aluko was unleashed from the bench early in the second half.

It brought the required response, suggesting the Hull manager is unlikely to make too many changes tomorrow when Albion head to the East Riding.

Elmohamady said: “Our confidence is always high because we have some great, experienced players in the team who give us advice to help us get everything right. What has gone is gone now in terms of results, we are all looking forward.”

Hull’s immediate future brings those meetings with West Brom and Chelsea before three home games in 11 days along with a Boxing Day trip to Sunderland.

A decent points return and the picture will look very different and Elmohamady insists Hull’s strong team spirit will stand them in good stead.

He added: “We are all together. When we win, we’re all together, when we get promotion, we’re all together – it’s all about everyone here.

“The manager is great for us because he is always speaking in positive ways to us. He has great experience.

“Some great players came to the team in the summer, but it takes time to adjust to a new team. We are much stronger than last year so what we must do now is start picking up more points.”