Bowen and Grosicki starring in Hull revival - Interview
Friday, 15th Mar 2019 09:47 by Clive Whittingham
Hull have turned a dire start to the season into a push towards the top half of the table with star man Jarrod Bowen impressing, but ownership issues persist according to Charlotte from Tigerlink.
How would you assess Hull’s season so far? A lot better than many were anticipating!
In terms of results and performances, it has definitely turned out to be a lot more positive than I thought it would be at this stage. If I'm honest, I was anticipating a more nervous end to the season in terms of looking over our shoulder at the relegation places, but credit to the lads and the manager for the position we find ourselves in. The players have shown a real character and desire to work for each other and against a still uncertain backdrop have produced some really impressive performances. I know it sounds a strange thing to say, but I wouldn't want us to finish the season even stronger and sneak into the play offs and get promoted this year. We are not equipped for the Premier League and it would mean that our owners would definitely stick around for a bit longer, something that we are not keen on at all!
When we last met Hull had only won four of their first 19 league games but you looked very good at Loftus Road, won, and then set off on an amazing run. What sparked this turnaround?
It's really hard to say! Sometimes one result can just provide the impetus for a great run and after an impressive game at your place we just seemed to build and build. I think the team had time to gel and settle and we just appeared more composed. The pace and quality of Jarrod Bowen and Kamil Grosicki started to have a big impact and these two alone made and scored many of our goals. Fraizer Campbell also weighed in with a few goals too which really helped. And I think Tommy Elphick marshalled the defence well and they started to look more assured and organised at that time.
Presumably plenty of praise going the way of Nigel Adkins? But he’s out of contract at the end of the season – any concerns that this is being allowed to drag on?
I have to admit to not being Nigel Adkins biggest fan but I am also not afraid to hold my hands up and say he has proved me wrong. Whilst some of the overly positive outlook stuff gets a little annoying at times, he has managed to pull the squad together and there seems to be a really good attitude throughout. I still don't think he is a master tactician but with limited resources he has largely got the best out of the squad and that has got to be applauded.
The contract situation is strange but not surprising. The Allams have messed countless players around with contracts and notably when Mike Phelan took over as caretaker manager after the departure of Steve Bruce back in 2016, he was unable to even get hold of the owners to discuss contracts for weeks and just left hanging. It is frustrating that Adkins hasn't been offered anything because I think that some continuity at the club would be good and Adkins deserves an extended stay.
I noticed a headline recently that said the great run had tempted the Allams to stick around after all – every silver lining has a cloud I guess! What’s the latest with that lot?
Status quo at the moment, they seem to hate the fans and for many (and we suspect this number is pretty big) the feeling is mutual. As I touched on previously, I hope we stay in the Championship this year and I hope they get bored and leave. Promotion, albeit a faint possibility, would inevitably mean they do stick around longer to absorb the riches of the top flight. I think it would also mean that they wouldn't properly invest in the squad to give us a fighting chance of staying there so we would probably be straight back down again. So I would rather stay put and hope that means we can wave goodbye sooner rather than later.
Jarrod Bowen – good Championship player or potentially Premier League?
Really good Championship player who has made other clubs sit up and take notice by backing up a really impressive season last term with an even better one so far this time. I personally think he could play at Premier League level and I believe that regardless of what's happening at the club we will lose him in the summer to either a top Championship club or a Premier League newly promoted/mid table side. And to be fair you couldn't blame him for moving on.
Other stand outs in this team?
Markus Henriksen has really stood out as a leader. He took some stick from a section of our fan base for some of his performances early on in his City career but he has proved the type of player we have been crying out for in terms of determination, spirit and commitment. Kevin Stewart also came in for an extended period of criticism in the beginning but has put in some really solid shifts and shown he is a talent, one to keep hold of for sure. On his day, when he is on his game, Kamil Grosicki is outstanding and has shown his undoubted quality.
I think our defence as a unit have still got to improve - we do wobble at the back at times. Elphick was fantastic and while Jordy De Wijs has improved a lot, we still lack a commanding presence and wise head at the back.
How do you see the season ending, and then what will happen over the summer given the situation with the owners and how they run the club?
I see us finishing just below the play off places, which actually would be a very respectable season given the circumstances. As for what will happen over the summer, that's anyone's guess. Let's hope the Allams get bored and clear off. Watching the scenes at Blackpool this week made me dream about the day we can do the same. And it's going to be one hell of a party in Hull when it happens.
Pictures – Action Images
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