Victorious Hull happy to continue progress unnoticed

CAMERON STEWART insists everyone at Hull City is happy for the club to be under the radar as they move up the table in the Championship promotion race.

The Tigers moved up two places in the table to 10th courtesy of a 1-0 victory over Preston North End. Anthony Gerrard’s 45th-minute goal also extended Hull’s impressive run of form to just one defeat in 15 league outings.

However, despite being in such fine form for the past two-and-a-half months, Hull are rarely mentioned whenever talk turns in the national media to the race to reach the Premier League.

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And that, according to Stewart, suits everyone at the KC Stadium.

He said: “No one is taking any notice of Hull at the moment and we like it that way. It was the same for Blackpool last year and it worked for them.

“Everyone at the club is trying to play things down. We are on a bit of a run so some of the fans are saying ‘play-offs, play-offs’.

“But we are not going to allow ourselves to get carried away. We know anything could happen. We might have a dip in form.

“We are playing well but we have some tough away games coming up. All we can do is focus on each game at a time.”

Stewart, who signed on a permanent deal for £300,000 from Manchester United last month after an impressive loan stint, believes Hull were full value for the three points against Preston, managed by former Tigers boss Phil Brown.

He said: “The performance was really good and I thought we were quite comfortable.

“Preston are down at the bottom so we knew they would come and try to make things difficult. But we got the goal at the perfect time as it settled us down.

“I was delighted with my performance as I got on the ball and beat both full-backs. I also got a few crosses and shots in.

“The manager said to me and Tijani Belaid that we had licence to go whatever side we wanted. So we had a swap to see if we could get a bit more joy and it worked well.”

Hull’s win meant it was a disappointing first return to the KC Stadium for Brown as his North End side remained 10 points adrift of safety at the foot of the second tier.

The 51-year-old, who was afforded a warm reception both before and after the game by the home fans, said: “It was a nice reaction from the crowd prior to the game. I was really excited to come back to a place where we had unprecedented success.

“But it hurts that we didn’t get anything from the game. (Former Hull captain) Ian Ashbee wanted to win the game, too.

“He was probably the only one who wanted to win more than me. But we didn’t work their goalkeeper enough. I could have even played in goals (for Hull).”

On his former club, Brown said: “I wish Nigel (Pearson) all the best. Given the fact they are knocking at the door of the play-offs, I wish them all the best. I still have a soft spot for Hull City.”

Match report: Page 3.