Date:Friday December 15 2006
City make the long trip north tomorrow to face a Hull side as desperate for three points as ourselves, but for opposite reasons.
Those optimistic Hull fans who were hoping for some sort of playoff push this season have been left disappointed. A poor run of one point from 15 (a 1-1 draw at Norwich) has seen the Tigers plummet to 23rd in the Championship, a full six points shy of a Barnsley side who have found some form.
Recently four-goal Chris Iwelumo ran the show for the Colchester as Hull were embarrassed 5-1 at Layer Road despite taking the lead. Three days later the Tigers were outclassed by Southampton on their own patch and went down 4-2. The defeat led to the departure of manager Phil Parkinson after just five months in charge.
Phil Brown is currently in charge but Hull are actively searching for a new boss to get them out of the mire. Iain Dowie was interviewed, but he is now the top target of Leicester and it is believed that he won`t be moving to the KC Stadium. Former Norwich boss Nigel Worthington has issued something of a 'come and get me` plea after being out of the game for two months.
They are mangerless, second from bottom, have the worst home record in the division and have scored the least goals. They simply must be beaten.
Hull look set to stick with their unorthodox formation of 4-3-3/4-5-1, the idea being that two of the midfielders can turn into attackers as the game progresses. To start with, though, Nick Barmby will be the lone frontman.
The 32-year-old has switched to striker as age catches up with him. Barmby was capped 23 times for England during the glory years of his career which saw successful periods at Tottenham, Middlesbrough, Everton and Liverpool massing a combined transfer fee of nearly £20m. He bagged ten goals for Liverpool during their successful season of 2000/01, including one against his former employers in the Merseyside derby.
Barmby caused a stir when he joined Hull in 2004/05. The Tigers were promoted to the Championship that season with Barmby scoring nine and outshining the opposition.
This year he has scored two so far, but he is the sort of player who can turn a game on its head with a single touch and Brown has given him a "licence to thrill" tomorrow.
'We played 4-3-3 for the full 90 minutes last week and I thought it worked well,' Brown told the Hull Mail
'Saying that, I think we'll be a little bit more adventurous.
'One of the strengths of our sides is Nick Barmby when he's on the ball.
'Whatever formation we play we need to get Nick on the ball and open up the opposition.
'We can't play Nick as a lone striker because you lose his strengths then.'
Other players of note are former Swansea and Welsh International full-back Sam Ricketts.
Striker Jon Parkin, midfielder John Welsh and defender Sam Collins are all ruled out through injury. They will, however, hope to have Nicky Forster back in contention; always a threat though he has scored just one goal this term.
Cheap tickets means that the KC will be packed, but City really must win this one. The Hull fans have been known to turn on their team when things are going right, so hopefully that can work to our advantage should we get the first goal.
Article by Cardiff fan Sean Wozencroft.
Date:Friday December 15 2006
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