HULL CITY head coach Nigel Adkins has lavished praise on tonight’s opponents Norwich City by declaring: “They are top of the league for a reason.”
The Tigers are looking to bounce back from a disappointing weekend defeat at home to Nottingham Forest.
Two goals inside four minutes just after the hour did the damage as City slipped a place to second bottom.
It was a setback for a side who had taken seven points from their previous three games and Adkins wants to see a response against the table-topping Canaries.
“Norwich play out from the back,” he said. “You talk about Nottingham Forest keeping possession, they will keep possession a hell of a lot more than that.
“They will be a far tougher opponent than Nottingham Forest. They pass the ball for fun.”
Adkins has not been averse to praising opposition teams this season.
After losing 1-0 at home to Leeds United in early October, he declared Marcelo Bielsa’s men to be “one of the best teams I have seen in the Championship for many years”.
Four days later, Hull lost 1-0 at Sheffield United and Adkins was again effusive in his praise.
He even went so far as to predict a Yorkshire hat-trick in the promotion race that would see Leeds, the Blades and Middlesbrough all prevail.
Since then, however, Norwich have been on a stirring run with the last six games having yielded a maximum 18 points.
The latest victory for Daniel Farke’s men came on Saturday as Swansea City were blown away 4-1 at the Liberty Stadium.
“I have watched the footage of Norwich and they are top of the league for a reason,” said Adkins, who will be without Daniel Batty due to a calf injury and the suspended striker Fraizer Campbell.
“They are an excellent side. I thought Leeds were good but Norwich are probably better,” he said.
“They will present a problem for us and they have got dynamic movement up front.
“It is going to be testing for us. We are conscious of that but we will roll our sleeves up and be ready.”
Last six games: Hull City DLWWDL, Norwich City WWLWWW.
Referee: G Eltringham (Tyne & Wear).
Last time: Hull City 4 Norwich City 3; March 10, 2018; Championship.