AS the countdown to the new football season draws to a close, the Yorkshire Post concludes it’s look at the five key things our clubs need for success this season, with Hull City.
THE 2014-15 season started amid huge optimism at the KC Stadium as European football came to the club for the first time and an unprecedented £40m was invested in new players during the summer.
Nine months later, it had all turned sour as the Tigers slipped out of the top flight after just two seasons. Here, the Yorkshire Post outlines five ways for City to bounce back.
1. Learn how to win again
Sounds obvious but after taking a maximum three points just 18 times in 76 games as a Premier League club over the last two seasons, the Tigers have to rediscover that winning habit. And quick. Bournemouth went up last year with 26 victories, and Watford 27.
2. Get the big earners out the door ASAP
Within moments of City’s relegation being confirmed last May, it became clear that Nikica Jelavic, Abel Hernandez and Dame N’Doze did not fancy competing in the Championship. All three - believed to be on around £30,000 per week despite taking a wage reduction of between 30 and 40 per cent - have release clauses in their contracts that can be triggered by bids. Trabzonspor have done just that with N’Doye by bidding Euros 3.5m (about £2.5m) and he should be gone soon. But interest in Hernandez from Italy and West Ham’s tracking of Jelavic are yet to come to fruition.
3. Freshen up the squad with hunger
Steve Bruce has made four signings but he needs more. The double deal for Moses Odujabo and Andre Gray is taking some doing due to Brentford holding out for an initial £10.5m with £2m add-ons when Hull have bid around £9m. But the pair are exactly the type of players City need if they are to become genuine promotion challengers.
4. Unite as a club
Assem Allam’s determination to re-brand as Hull Tigers has split supporters right across the city. City can’t afford a repeat in what is an incredibly tough division to get out of and the hope has to be that club and supporters can become one in the coming weeks and months.
5. Rediscover the attacking play of the 2012-13 promotion success
The first half of the season that ended in promotion under Steve Bruce saw City play an entertaining brand of football. An Achilles injury for Sone Aluko, a key cog in the attacking set-up, put the shackles on and, once in the Premier League, the Yorkshire club had to be more cautious. Now, though, is time to throw caution to the wind and get at teams.