Spirit is strong in Hull team full of leaders – Rosenior

AS the Premier League season takes a breather this weekend for the final round of World Cup qualifiers, Hull City have plenty to smile about.

An 11-point haul from seven games and an eighth-place standing in the table – above, among others, champions Manchester United – is a hugely encouraging start to life back in the top-flight.

Comparisons have, understandably, been made with City’s debut season among the elite in 2008-09 when a blistering start yielded an impressive 20 points from the first nine games.

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What the current crop are intent on doing, however, is avoiding the fate of Phil Brown’s men, who after enjoying such a dream bow went on to win just two more games and only avoid relegation by the slimmest of margins.

“The Premier League has learnt that we’re going to be a hard team to beat,” said City full-back Liam Rosenior, who is yet to finish on the losing side in his six league and cup appearances this season.

“We don’t lie down for anyone and we give our all every game. You won’t see too many teams beating us by four or five this season, that’s for sure.

“I expect us to stay up. I expect us to win every game if we can. Those are the standards we have set ourselves already this season and if we can continue this over the year we will be sure to have a good season.”

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Perhaps the most encouraging aspect of City’s impressive start this time around has been the solid defensive foundations on which it has been built.

Unlike in 2008-09 when Brown’s Tigers were thrashed 5-0 at home by Wigan Athletic in only their third Premier League outing, the current crop have looked solid throughout and conceded just seven times.

Rosenior added: “The defensive unit has been good but it’s all about the team. You look at Danny (Graham) and Sone (Aluko) starting up front and they work their socks off for us up there.

“Against Villa (in Saturday’s goalless draw), we had Quinny (Stephen Quinn) and Elmo (Ahmed Elmohamady) tracking back all the time and then there was Jake (Livermore) and Tom (Huddlestone) covering all the ground in midfield.

“Jake was unbelievable against Aston Villa.

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“We are all working hard for each other and that needs to continue if we are going to pick up points.

“As a team, we have a different shape this year and there has been some great signings throughout the team that have helped us.

“We already had a good squad. We must have done something right because we got promoted.

“But that mentality has continued where we pick up points whether we are playing well or not. It is a great bunch with good spirits and that needs to continue if we are going to achieve something this year.

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“Curtis (Davies) has taken on the captaincy but if you look around the team you could have five or six different captains.

“We have got Tom, Abdoulaye (Faye), Greggsy (Allan McGregor). Throughout the team we have got characters who want to do well.

“There are also people like Paul McShane, who hasn’t even played yet, and he has been fantastic to have around.”