Being a Hull City fan really does involve a roller-coaster of emotions. After disappointing results against Leicester and Burnley last month, I, and the vast majority of the Hull City faithful, had completely written off the Tigers’ survival chances and resigned ourselves for an instant return to the Championship.
However, one month later a spectacular continuation of both Hull City and Marco Silva’s outstanding home form has placed City’s fate back into our own hands as we find ourselves outside of the Premier League relegation zone for the first time in five months. Brace yourself – it’s going to be one hell of an end to the season.
There is only one place to start – Marco Silva’s quite incredible record managing at home. Including the six Premier League games Silva has managed at the KCOM since arriving in January, of which he has won five and drawn one, Silva has now gone 40 games undefeated on home soil – a record which stretches back to 2014 and has seen him manage the likes of Estoril, Sporting and Olympiacos before coming to the Premier League. This statistic is made even more impressive when you also factor in home wins in both domestic cup competitions against Swansea City and Manchester United. What was it Paul Merson and Phil Thompson said a few months ago? “He’s not got a clue”, “I could win the league with Olympiakos”, and “He doesn’t know what’s required here. That is the difference”. Awkward…
A few weeks ago, I wrote in this blog that if Hull City were to avoid relegation this season, winning all of our remaining home games, bar the game against Spurs on the final day, would simply not be enough on its own to keep us in the division. If the club fail to take another point on the road for the rest of the season and win every home game other than on the last day of the season, we will finish with 36 points. While traditionally this has not quite been enough to avoid the drop, with some crazy results of late and an ever congested bottom half of the table, it could now be the case that Hull City’s impressive home form could be just about enough to stave off a return to the Championship.
Indeed, with Sunderland and Middlesbrough now looking all but relegated already, it is looking increasingly like there is only one more relegation spot to be filled, and with City now out of the relegation zone for the first time since October, surely our fate is in our own hands.
While our away form has certainly been poor of late, after Wednesday evening’s fantastic performance against Boro at the KCOM, I am not ruling out picking up the odd result in upcoming away fixtures. Any result at all, or even a narrow defeat which will not damage the squad’s confidence, would surely be taken in advance of this Saturday’s trip to the Etihad, however, points are definitely there to be won at away fixtures against the likes of Stoke, Southampton and Crystal Palace between now and the end of the season.
It is still a tall order, and considering the state the club was in before the season began, as well as in the weeks leading up to Silva’s appointment in January, Premier League survival would be an outstanding achievement for Hull City this season. A BBC commentator said last night upon watching Harry Maguire score Hull City’s fourth, “Hull certainly don’t move the ball around like a side in the bottom three”, and it is this new found confidence, which has coincided with Marco Silva finding a formation and starting XI that gets the most out of this limited squad of players that appears to have kick-started Hull City’s survival bid.
Like I said, supporting Hull City really does involve a roller-coaster of emotions, however, with City finally outside the relegation positions with just seven games to go, and displaying some of the best football we have produced all season, the club’s Premier League fate is very much in our own hands. Could we be about to witness another ‘Great Escape’ season? For the sake of the Hull City faithful, who really have been put through the wringer by the club’s ownership in recent years, I sincerely hope so.