This week we spoke to Hull City fan Paul Greendale (@3Greendog) for his take on this Saturday’s fixture at the KC Stadium…
Q. Hull City has lost six of its last ten games in the Premier League. How nervous are you about the possibility of relegation?
A. After the West Ham and Newcastle capitulations, safe to say I was extremely worried and started to mentally prepare myself for away days at Championship grounds again next season. But two really good performances against Man City and Villa and some players returning from injury and things are suddenly looking more promising. But they always say it’s the hope that kills you! We know we’re in a scrap right until the last day of the season and it’s going to be close.
Q. Steve Bruce has been pretty busy in the last couple of transfer windows – how good is the squad Bruce has assembled? What will be the priorities in the summer?
A. On paper it’s the best squad we’ve ever had but on the pitch they’ve fallen well short. Big players in the spine of our team such as Tom Huddlestone, Jake Livermore, Curtis Davies and Allan McGregor have been very poor. Summer transfers will depend on which league we’re in. Balance across the defence is important and improving our depth in attacking areas to avoid being in a similar mess next season is what’s needed. Mike Phelan coming in as Brucie’s assistant seems to have revitalised training and so far, appears to be working.
Q. Like QPR, Hull has a chairman who is not afraid of the limelight. What do you make of Assem Allam?
A. Quite simply, I hate him. He needs to sell the club and disappear. He’s a stubborn, clueless old man, every interview he does is littered with mistakes and inaccuracies. I’m amazed he’s made any money because every time he speaks, he comes across as a bumbling fool.
Q. I have to ask Hull City? Hull Tigers? Hull City Tigers? Which do you prefer and why?
A. There’s only one answer. Hull City AFC. We got to the Premier League as Hull City, we got into Europe as Hull City and if we get relegated, we’ll do it as Hull City. I don’t think I could ever look another human in the eye and tell them I support a team called Hull Tigers. The whole issue is not about the name at all, it’s about Allam’s personal vendetta against Hull City Council over his failed attempt to purchase the stadium (He thinks everyone associates the Premier League football team with the people who collect the bins on a Thursday. Absolute moron!). Thankfully our new Supporters Trust is looking out for the best interests of our club, born from the success of the City Till We Die campaign last year. An organised, committed group of fans which was totally underestimated by Allam and have proved that owners cannot do whatever they want and get away with it.
Q. Historically QPR have often been well-liked amongst opposition fans although this has changed in recent times with our perceived influx of spending power. How do you see the QPR of today?
A. Don’t think Hull fans have an issue with QPR other than being in a relegation scrap together. Tony Fernandes seems a likeable bloke, especially in football chairmen circles.
Q. Who has been City’s best player so far this season? Who is the one to watch on Saturday?
A. Tough to name a player of the season so far. Possibly Nikica Jelavic who despite never really being fully fit has still scored 7 goals and always makes a nuisance of himself. A lot is expected of our new boy Dame N’Doye who made an impressive debut against Aston Villa by getting a goal and an assist. But we’ve seen record signing Abel Hernandez make an impressive start but fizzle away, we can’t afford for it to happen again. Our player of the year will be someone who steps up and performs in the last 13 games.
Q. Which current QPR player/s do you rate or admire, if any? What about QPR players of the past?
A. We were close to signing Charlie Austin before he failed a medical, so he’s one we always keep an eye out for. The one that got away. My favourite QPR player from the past has to be Les Ferdinand from the Gerry Francis team of the 90’s.
Q. Any thoughts on the situation at QPR right now? How do you think interim manager Chris Ramsey will do?
A. Ramsey seems like a good guy but I’m always sceptical of an assistant taking over. I wasn’t too sad to see you get your first away win at Sunderland as we have a horrible habit of being the side to help break unwanted records like that, so glad you got that one out of the way. But will Ramsey get more than Harry Redknapp out of the same group of players? I would tend to say no.
Q. How do you think Bruce will set up at the KC Stadium on Saturday?
A. 3-5-2. Reverting back to wing backs and doing what we know we’re good at has coincided with us picking up points. Fan favourites Paul McShane and Alex Bruce coming in has given us the look of a team finally up for a relegation scrap. They’re the epitome of ‘limited defenders’ but have given our defence a better balance and are exactly what we need right now. I’d expect us to be unchanged.
(McGregor, Dawson, Bruce, McShane, Elmohammady, Huddlestone, Meyler, Livermore, Brady, Jelavic, N’Doye)
Q. Which three teams do you tip for relegation this season?
A. Leicester, Burnley and I’m afraid to say QPR. Hull to stay up… but only just.
Q. Score and prediction for Hull City vs QPR on Saturday?
A. Whoever scores first will win it. 1-0 City. Dame N’Doye to get the goal.
Thanks once again to Paul for answering our questions.