HULL CITY manager Nigel Adkins’s only previous meeting with Leeds United counterpart Marcelo Bielsa came when at the helm of Southampton and ended in defeat.
Adkins is “looking forward” to locking horns again with the Argentinian, but his priority tonight remains avenging a couple of results against Leeds last season that he felt were harsh on the East Riding club.
“I have managed against him once before in a pre-season game,” said Adkins about a 2011 friendly at St Mary’s that Bielsa’s Athletic Bilbao won 2-0. “This game against Leeds is a challenge for us because we are going through this transition.
“It is not going to be easy for us, but we are determined to get it right. Wins are always going to make everyone a lot happier.
“We did really well against Leeds last season, if you remember – and put in some really good performances. We should have picked up six points from last season but we didn’t.”
Hull lost 1-0 at Elland Road in December last year after Allan McGregor’s mistake allowed Pablo Hernandez to score on an afternoon when the visitors had been the better side.
A month later the return at the KCOM Stadium finished goalless with Hull again having the better chances, but unable to get past Felix Wiedwald on arguably the German’s most impressive shift in a Leeds shirt.
Jarrod Bowen featured in both all-Yorkshire encounters last term and he is looking for the Tigers to build on an encouraging display in the weekend draw with Middlesbrough.
“Leeds look very good, don’t they?” said the 21-year-old. “We knew Middlesbrough was going to be a hard game and know Leeds will be, too.
“On our day when everyone is singing and dancing, I don’t think anyone can stop us. We just need to play our game the way we did on Saturday. Start on the front foot and get the fans up straightaway, maybe nick an early goal.
“Or if not wait for our chances to come as we all know we can create chances. It is just a case of putting them away and keeping them out at the other end.”
Hull sit fourth bottom of the Championship and have just two wins to their name from 10 outings.
“We beat Ipswich (on September 15) and everyone thought, ‘Get another win, get another win’,” added Bowen as Hull head into the second of a White Rose trio of fixtures that will culminate in Saturday’s trip to Sheffield United.
“We want to win the next two games before the next international break. If we do that then we will be very happy.”
Adkins was pleased with his side’s efforts against high-flying Boro as a penalty from Bowen cancelled out Britt Assombalonga’s opener.
“Leeds United is going to be a totally different game (to Saturday),” added the Hull chief.
“It will be a lot quicker. Leeds are a very fit side so it is going to be high energy. They can change their formation during a game as well.
“It will be a really good atmosphere. They will bring a big crowd and we have got to embrace the challenge. It will be tough.
“But we have got to look at the good things we did against Middlesbrough and keep moving forward. What we have demonstrated is that, in a league game, we have got another way we can play.
“We will be as committed as we can be to make sure we pick something up from this game.
“We knew this week was going to be challenging, but we started it with a very good point that could have been three on another day.”