Preston v Hull: Kamil Grosicki key to Tigers’ survival hopes

Kamil Grosicki: Welcome return for Tigers star.
Kamil Grosicki: Welcome return for Tigers star.
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AFTER overseeing four away league games that have yielded no points and no goals, Hull City’s manager Nigel Adkins is a man in need of a spark ahead of today’s trip to play-off hopefuls Preston North End.

Step forward Kamil Grosicki, the Polish international who sits second in the Tigers’ goal-scoring charts and boasts the most assists despite missing the past month through injury.

His first league appearance since Boxing Day came in the midweek draw against Leeds United, 24 hours before Derby County made a late bid to take him to the East Midlands on loan.

Hull quickly rebuffed the offer, meaning Grosicki could be in line for a start as Adkins looks to find the solution to his side’s travelling woes after a quartet of 1-0 defeats.

“There was no way we were going to let Kamil go on loan for four months,” said the Tigers chief. “We are trying to get ourselves moving in the right direction.

“He needs to get himself ready to go and play in the World Cup and he has just been out with an injury so I am pleased he got half a game the other night.

“Everyone who is here is under contract now until the end of the season. We have got 17 league games left and everyone is pulling in the same direction.”

Hull head to Deepdale having been nudged into the relegation zone by Bolton’s win over Bristol City last night.

It has been a desperate return to the second tier after a year in the Premier League. Just five wins in 29 games – and one in the last 16 – tells its own story, but Adkins believes performances have been better than results in recent weeks.

This, of course, can only go on so long and Hull were buoyed this week by the deadline-day arrival of Barnsley defender Angus MacDonald and Liverpool winger Harry Wilson.

Both are in the squad to face Preston, along with Michael Dawson despite the Tigers’ captain, whose contract expires in June, understood to have wanted a proposed move to Nottingham Forest to go through due to a two-and-a-half-year deal being on the table.

Asked about MacDonald’s qualities, Adkins said: “He is a good age. He can play right side and he can play left side. He has captained Barnsley so, obviously, he has good leadership qualities as well.

“He has been out of favour at Barnsley, for whatever reason. I know they turned down big bids for him last summer. He was highly sought after. Whatever has happened at Barnsley is irrelevant to us.”