Hull City hopeful of fans’ return to boost Championship playoff push
The 24,109 saw a 2-1 defeat to Chelsea, but a performance full of fight which bodes well for achieving this season’s aim of a top-six Championship finish.
Average gates this season are less than half that.
“There is not much in the Championship between sides, so any little advantage you can get, be that the crowd, the noise of the crowd, is massive,” said Long.
“It is just a massive thanks from all the lads to the fans who came, it has definitely helped us – all of the boys are frustrated that we didn’t get at least a replay.
“When our goal went in, you could hear the roar everywhere and I hope a lot of them want to come back and support us in the league. It gives the boys momentum, especially when you need it chasing a goal towards the end of the game.”
Chelsea took the lead against the run of play through Michy Batshuayi’s deflected sixth-minute shot, and threatened to overwhelm the Tigers, but Long’s goalkeeping and the Blues’ finishing kept the scoreline at 1-0 until half-time.
Hull restarted the stronger, only for former loanee Fikayo Tomori to head in Chelsea’s first effort of the second half, after 64 minutes. Substitute Kamil Grosicki pulled one back with a deflected free-kick.
“The second-half performance was much better than the first,” commented Hull coach Grant McCann. “Second half, we started well then conceded off a set play. The goals were avoidable for us.
“When we scored and got back in the game, I could feel the fans with us.”