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Fan Focus: "Marco Silva has brought pride back to the Hull supporters"

Our long-time Hull City correspondent John Uzzell is back for what could be the last time... for a season or two, at least. John spoke to us about how Silva has turned Hull around; there's an Alfred N'Diaye update, and some crack about the upcoming game.

Sunderland v Hull City - Premier League Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

RF: What a job Marco Silva has done! It's interesting to look at from a Sunderland perspective as Hull are just as turbulent off the pitch as we are, yet you stand a good chance of staying up because of the decision to bring Silva in. Could you give us a summary of what he's done so well since he arrived?

JU: What a job indeed! He has literally turned us from no-hopers to one of the in-form teams at home in European football.

The first thing Silva did was get us organised. We were conceding goals from set pieces a lot and that has been rectified. He then went out and signed 3 misfits and the Polish Messi. Ranocchia came in from Inter Milan and has formed a fantastic defensive partnership with Harry Maguire while Niasse came in as an apparent no-hoper from Everton, but has impressed with four very important Premier League goals.

The biggest thing is the signings of Grosicki and Markovic who have given us genuine pace on the wings, something that has worked well when we counter attack.

Generally, Silva has brought belief and pride back to the team and the supporters.

RF: Silva only signed a deal until the end of the season of course. Do you think he'll stick around, regardless of what division you're in?

JU: It is a difficult one to answer. If we go down, no chance. But if we stay up, we all really hope so. We are definitely a stepping stone for him and I think it depends on what kind of club comes in for him. If a bigger Premier League club comes calling, he may well go.

Our hope is he stays next season, takes us to mid-table and then leaves. I don’t think he will be with us long term.

RF: I have to ask about Alfred N'Diaye as well, he was a bit of a cult figure during his time on Wearside and many were surprised to see him leave when he did. How's he getting on since his arrival in January?

JU: I think he has done quite well. He hasn’t really pulled up any trees, but he has filled the big gap that the departure of Jake Livermore left. I think he is probably the same kind of player now, as he was when with you - big and powerful and good at doing the basics.

RF: We're down and out, but even so, are you worried about us at all? Your home form suggests you shouldn't be, but what flaws could Sunderland exploit to restore some pride?

JU: It’s more worrying now you are relegated. It would be “typical City” to lose to you on Saturday and it really is a must win game for us.

We have been great at home, but most of the time our best form has come in the second half of games. If we start slowly and nervously, you may be able catch us early on.

RF: Aside from Big Alf, who should Sunderland fans be worried about in the Hull side? Anyone in a particularly good run of form at the minute?

JU: Harry Maguire has been absolutely colossal for us at centre back since Marco Silva came in. We will be lucky to keep him in the summer.

RF: How do you see Silva approaching the game and what starting line up do you think he'll send out?

JU: Silva generally starts with one up front with the two speedy wingers supporting him, but many have been calling for Hernandez to start alongside Niasse, in a 4-4-2. I am not sure that he will though, as he is pretty consistent when it comes to tactics.

RF: And to finish off - A prediction please?

JU: A massive must win game for us, I am scared to say it but I think we'll win 2-0.


Thanks to John for taking the time to answer our questions, you can give him a follow on Twitter - if you fancy.