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Hull City v Norwich City - Sky Bet Championship - MKM Stadium

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Fan Focus: “We’re really struggling with injuries” says Hull fan Ant!

Ahead of Sunderland’s match tonight, we spoke to Hull fan Ant Northgraves of the To Hull & Back Podcast, to discuss their recent form under Liam Rosenior. Who should we be wary of?

Photo by Mike Egerton/PA Images via Getty Images

Hull were knocked out of the FA Cup by Birmingham this week, did you expect that given the weakened team Rosenior picked?

Yes, absolutely. Our squad is already stretched thin enough without the extra games.

We actually would have probably preferred going out at the first time of asking without the replay.

We’ve got injuries piling up and simply can’t afford anymore but the positive is some young players got their debuts such as Stan Ashbee, son of former Hull City legend, Ian.

Looking at your league form, Hull have been incredibly inconsistent of late, winning just once in five games - what do you think are the key factors behind that?

Missing key players through injury and AFCON.

We’ve been missing Jaden Philogene since early December, we’ve been missing Ruben Vinagre pretty much all season, then add to that list Liam Delap, Aaron Connolly, Cyrus Christie, James Furlong etc. Adama Traore & Jean Michael Seri are both at AFCON as well.

We’ve also seen Scott Twine recalled and sent to Bristol City on loan, so we’re pretty low on players.

Soccer - npower Football League Championship - Coventry City v Hull City - Ricoh Arena
Liam Rosenior made 161 appearances for Hull as a player.
Photo by Joe Giddens - PA Images via Getty Images

When the two sides last met, it was a tale of two sides scared to get beat, with one moment of quality winning the game. How are fans feeling confidence-wise ahead of today with that defeat only being last month?

I don’t think optimism is particularly high at the moment, as the previously mentioned lack of options and goalscorers has us struggling to see games out.

Our lack of natural wide players and no left-back leaves the squad unbalanced and vulnerable, hence why we rarely keep a clean sheet.

I think we’d certainly take a point at the minute, with Philogene due to return for the game after.

Moving onto the players, the signing of Fabio Carvalho was seen as a massive pull for Hull on loan from Liverpool. How did he get on during his debut and what do you think he can bring?

He had a steady debut and showed some glimpses of real quality, but considering he’d only trained with the team for 2 days, we couldn’t expect too much from him.

I think once he forms those partnerships with the front line, he’s going to be a real force for us creatively.

Hull City v Norwich City - Sky Bet Championship
Fabio Carvalho made his Hull debut in a 2-1 defeat to Norwich last week.
Photo by George Wood/Getty Images

Going out of the club, Scott Twine was recalled by Burnley and sold to Bristol City this week - were you disappointed to see him go?

We were only disappointed in the sense that we needed the squad depth at the minute and couldn’t really afford to lose more players.

Twine never really met the hype that he came with, and his loan spell overall was disappointing and wouldn’t have seen many minutes considering Carvalho’s arrival anyway.

Of Hull’s five top scorers, Aaron Connolly, Liam Delap, Jaden Philogene and Twine will all miss the match, who are you expecting to step and provide the goals?

Good question... it would logically be Ozan Tufan who’s on 7 goals so far this season.

Carvalho will hopefully provide that creative spark, and perhaps even Billy Sharp can step up now he has found himself as our only fit striker.

On paper, we will struggle with our absentees but now’s the time for someone else to step up.

Hull City v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship - MKM Stadium
Jack Clarke scored the winning goal when the two sides met on Boxing Day.
Photo by Ian Hodgson/PA Images via Getty Images

When I’ve watched Hull recently, aside from Jones and Greaves, Tyler Morton has really stood out for me, do you think he is a Premier League player in the making?

Absolutely. He is easily our most consistent performer at the minute and is growing in class and confidence every single game.

His vision is spectacular and work rate both on AND off the ball is first-class. He’s destined for the top.

How do you expect Rosenior to set up tactically at the Stadium of Light and which eleven players do you think he will select?

I expect we’ll set up in a similar system to what we’ve used all season, which is a variation of the 4-2-3-1.

GK: Allsop, RB: Coyle, CB: Jones & Greaves, LB: Jacob, CM: Morton & Slater, RW: Carvalho, CAM: Tufan, LW: Lokilo, ST: Sharp.

Sunderland are unbeaten in five matches against Hull, do you think Liam Rosenior can break that recent record?

If I’m being brutally honest, no I don’t think so.

We are really struggling without our main players, most namely Seri, Delap and Philogene. Without these players, we struggle to implement the same ruthless attacking style we did earlier in the season.

We are prone to conceding sloppy goals regularly, and without reinforcements this window, our season is in danger of fizzling out.


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