Archive for February, 2014

26th February 2014 – Some good news emerged late last week which I missed. Phil Buckingham tweeted on Friday that Joe Dudgeon had been back in full training for a few days.

Joe suffered a bad knee injury in October 2012 (‘historic chondral defect’) and  when the club decided on immediate surgery he was was ruled out of selection for the remainder of the 2012-13 season.

He made a comeback early this season and started in the League Cup game away at Leyton Orient on 27th August 2013. And again in the the next League Cup game at home to Huddersfield on the 24th September 2013 at the KC.

But that was as far as Joe got in his recovery and following those games complications had been discovered in his knee and required a long period of rest. Since December he has gradually built up his training time and routine to the point we hear he is in full training.

The Northern Ireland International is a very useful squad player, being able to contribute at left back, wing back or centre back and at the time it gave Steve Bruce a few headaches. Leeds born Dudgeon signed for City in May 2011 on a 3 year contract from Manchester United.

On 5 October 2012 it was announced that he had received his first call up for the Northern Ireland Senior team for their game against Portugal on 16 October 2012.

We wish Joe all the luck in the world in the future and a long career in the Premier League and for Northern Ireland.

Joe Dudgeon



Read Full Post »

25th February 2014 Tuesday – We are told that our Barclay’s Premier League home game against West Ham United has been postponed. The game, which was originally scheduled to be played on Saturday 8th March, has now been rearranged for Wednesday 26th March (KO 7.45 pm).

Also we note from the FA website the Sunderland Quarter Final tie at the KC stadium is to be played on Sunday 9th March kick off 1.30 pm and will be televised live on ITV1

Read Full Post »

24th February 2014 Monday Evening KC Stadium –  City grabbed two first half goals tonight against the Seagulls and in the second half conceded one but never looked in danger of losing this tie.

Steve Bruce named the strongest squad possible for the match, with Huddlestone and Rosenior on the bench recovering from knocks etc picked up against Cardiff just two days previous.

It took a little time for the Tigers to settle but eventually they played some good passing, linked up football. Brighton are known as a ‘footballing’ side and City must have decided to play them at their own game and 4-3-3 or similar formation served it up.

City got their first goal in the 14th minute, Koren delivered a cross after a corner and Curtis Davis got his head to it, the ball spun into the left top hand  of the goal; 1-0.

On 36 minutes it was 2-0. City had been awarded a free kick 6 yards or so outside the Brighton box, and Koren’s kick was nearly saved by the keeper but he messed it up. At this time Fryatt had got to the goal-line and could have helped the ball in, but he didn’t, he had been marginally offside (and probably knew) so he restrained the temptation and the went in on it’s own.

In the second half, City never produced the same brand of football and it had 2-0 written all over it until Leonardo Ulloa (seemingly their only dangerous player) struck in the 68th minute with a close range glancing header off a David Lopez ball following a free kick. We used to defend set pieces a lot better than we do now.

So we move on to a quarter-final game at home to Sunderland, the first one since 1930. We progressed to a semi-final against Arsenal that year and played them at the Circle ground in front of 32930, drawing the game 2-2, and losing 1-0 in the replay, Arsenal went to Wembley and won the FA Cup.

Hull City : Harper, Figueroa, Elmohamady, Chester, Davies, Meyler (Quinn 84′), Koren, Livermore, Aluko (Boyd 76′), Sagbo, Fryatt. Bench : McGregor, Rosenior, Bruce, Huddlestone, Boyd, Faye, Quinn.

Brighton : Brezovan, Calderon, Ward, Ince, (March 60′), Dunk, Upson, D.Lopez (Obika 89′), Forster-Caskey, Ulloa, Andrews, Rodriguez Sanchez (Lua Lua 45′). Bench : Bruno, Green, Chicksen, Ankergren, Obika, Lua Lua, March.

Referee : Andrew Marriner

After the game Steve Bruce said –

“The last time Hull were in a semi-final was 1930, wasn’t it? There’s not many around who went to that one.

“We’ve given ourselves a wonderful chance. It’s a nice position to be in and now we’ve got to see if we can make it a really memorable season.

“(Wembley) is a wonderful occasion and, when you sit back in your cardigan and slippers, you remember the FA Cup. I’ve been fortunate enough to win it and it would be nice to go back there again if we possibly could.”

Brighton assistant manager Nathan Jones said:

“We didn’t come out of the blocks in the first half. We didn’t play with any real intensity.

“We didn’t show up. That wasn’t an Albion performance in the first half. It felt like a bit of an anti-climax, the way we played, especially after what we’d done in the first game against them.

“We made a game of it and got the goal, but it was a mountain to climb against a good Premier League side.”

FT stats hull v brighton

Read Full Post »

22nd February 2014 Saturday Cardiff City Stadium – The Tigers thrashed the ‘Blue’ Birds here today to gather another 3 points and make safety seem more possible. Steve Bruce’s men produced a good performance with the front two of Long and Jelavic continuing to mold an excellent partnership. Solskjaer’s boys looked a sad lot in the end and their defence was woeful….a big big problem for them.

For the likes of Huddlestone, Livermore and Jelavic it must have been a revealing afternoon, after all they could have been sitting warming the bench or a stand seat at their old clubs,

The Tigers stand 11th tonight after 27 games and have 30 points. This was Steve Bruce’s 100th Premier League victory as a manager and we are 6 points clear of the relegation zone.

Strangely enough all the stats are in Cardiff’s favour, except crucially the score!

Goals from Huddlestone (deflected strike) two from Jelavic (first one from a great Shane Long pass) and one from Livermore saw Hull City home.

Huddlestone started the scoring in the 18th minute, Jelavic had fluffed a chance by getting the ball under his feet and eventually shot straight at the keeper, the ball  found Huddelstone from a Livermore cross and as he powered it at a defender the diverted ball  beat Marshall and went into the net.

On 38 minutes Jelavic got the ball and shoved a through pass to Shane Long down the left, the Irishman took it on, he attacked a defender in the box  and looking up saw Jelavic racing into the danger area for the return, a perfect pass saw the Croat take the ball in his full stride and fire it pass the keeper, 0-2 to Hull City.

Cardiff quite understandably shed a bit of their early brightness and looked all at sea by half time. They had made chances but didn’t finish them.

In the 57th minute the Tigers struck again. Long took the ball down the right and crossed, he seemed to deliberately send the ball over the defenders to Rosenior on the left, Jelavic had moved into place amongst three defenders, none of who marked him, and when Rosenior’s return cross came in the unmarked Jelavic was waiting and his header powered past Marshall into the goal. Poor defending but a lovely goal. The angry Marshall was apoplectic he had 5 red shirted defenders in front of him and none of thm hassled our striker. 0-3 to the City team in blue, ie us!

Six minutes later it was 0-4. Elmohamady intercepted a sloppy pass from Taylor in Hull’s half and took the ball under control and unchallenged to just in front of the 18 yard box where he slipped a pass to the onrushing Livermore who powered it past the Cardiff keeper. Seemed easy, very easy, Cardiff were blown, down and out and looked despondent.

Huddlestone had already left the field on the 63rd minute to be replaced by Boyd and more changes were to come. You wondered that without another game to play on Monday we might have scored six this afternoon, but Bruce must have had thoughts on the Brighton game. On 71 minutes Chester replaced the struggling Alex Bruce who had taken a knock to his leg earlier and on 76 minutes Quinn even replaced cup-tied Shane long who had seemed to limp earlier.

After the game Steve Bruce said –

“I didn’t think we played particularly well in the first half. I thought we gave the ball away too cheaply, but what’s got us the win is the little bit of quality we’ve invested in up the top end of the pitch.

“When you’re not playing particularly well and you’ve got two like we’ve got, you’re a threat.

“That, for me, was the big difference in the whole game – that ability to score a goal and with these two in the team; we’ve all of a sudden got it.”

“In this league you can quite easily go six to eight weeks without a win,” he added.

“For a newly promoted team the players have got a fantastic hunger to be Premier League players. I’ve always said from day one you need 10 wins, and you’re always going to get a few draws.”

Next up is Brighton at the KC on Monday night in the FA Cup replay, then Newcastle at home, West Ham away and then Manchester City at home.

Hull City: McGregor, Rosenior, Figueroa, Livermore, Bruce, Davies, Elmohamady, Huddlestone, Long, Jelavic, Meyler. Bench: Harper, Chester, Joren, Boyd, Sagbo, Aluko, Quinn.

Cardiff: Marshall, Fabio, Taylor, Cowie, Caulker, Torres Ruiz, Zaha, Wolf-Eikrem, Jones, Campbell, Noone. Bench: Turner, Whittingham, Gunnarsson, Daehli, Lewis, Berget, John.

Goals: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1d1093_cardiff-city-vs-hull-city-0-4-all-goals-and-highlights-22-2-14_sport

Opta stats…….

FT stats Cardiff v Hull

Referee: Howard Webb.

Read Full Post »

“Re: Steve Bruce’s funk about Hull’s game being brought forward to avoid a clash with Big Cup ties (yesterday’s Bits and Bobs).

I think Uefa was spooked a few years back when Jermain Defoe and Neil Mellor (twice) netted for West Ham against Crystal Palace at a 90%-full Upton Park in the league, while on the same night Chelsea were playing Besiktas at a 75%-full Stamford Bridge in Big Cup – hence lots of empty seats on view (actual difference in attendance was a touch over 1,000 in favour of the Big Cup tie).

What Uefa might not be taking into account, however, is that there may also have been a clash with a new Midsomer Murders which would have kept the Chelsea gate down that night, proving once again that TV is the death of football” – Ian Sargeant (printed by Fiver)

Read Full Post »

19th February 2014 Wednesday – During the post match interview after the Brighton FA Cup game Steve Bruce mentioned that Robbie Brady had hurt his groin during training and would have a scan the following day. So another worry for Brady’s recovery and future.

James Chester had been drafted onto to bench to make up the numbers but Bruce said the centre back would not have got any game time. However he may feature in some way in the Cardiff away game this coming Saturday.

Read Full Post »

17th February 2014 Monday Amex Stadium – After going behind in the 30th minute to a good breakaway goal by Leonardo Ulloa, Yannick Sagbo got the important reply late in the game to earn City a replay with an equally good 85th minute strike.

Changes had to be made in the Tigers normal line-up due to FA rules with Long and Jelavic sitting this one out and injuries, but most fans will have looked at the team sheet and thought it looked a strong starting eleven. However it took a long time for the players to find their feet and get into any sort of rhythm. Stephen Quinn had a very early chance in the 2nd minute with a header which went “extremely” wide. We looked a bit disjointed at times and the 4 at the back seemed to struggle against the Seagull early swoops and seemed a bit at sea (puns intended).

Bit by bit City slowly got their act together, started to get some sort of control and the majority of possession. In the 19th minute Sagbo had a chance after a pass from Aluko but his shot from outside the box was snatched and wide. We struggled most of the night to get the ball up to our strikers against an energetic Brighton side. It was good to see Aluko back but he seemed to be not quite to the pace. He did though pick things up later on in the tie and delivered some telling passes.

In the 27th minute Sagbo was unlucky. City had built up a bit of steam and kept pushing the home team back, a cross by Elmohamady made Sagbo stretch and fire the ball in some way at the goal, the ball shook the cross-bar but didn’t go in. This seemed to wake every body up, but it was the Seagulls who reacted best.

They won the ball in the middle of the pitch and immediately you could see the danger, Quinn didn’t though, otherwise he might have brought the Brighton man down! However a pass from Buckley sent Ulloa racing away past Curtis Davis, no one could catch him. With just the keeper to beat Ulloa waited the millisecond for the advancing McGregor to make his play, and when the Scot went down to block, the Argentinian fired the ball into the empty net. Wonderful football.

City came straight back though and the 32 minute saw two good attempts on the opposition goal. First Curtis Davies with a close range header which struck the bar from a Tom Huddlestone cross. Then Yannick Sagbo got his head to a cross, Elmo reacted with a header of his own which went wide. Exciting stuff and made us think maybe we could win this. I thought Aluko was fouled in the box during the Davies goal attempt but there was a lot of players around and maybe the officials missed it or turned a blind eye, a lot of that stuff is allowed these days for reasons best known to them.

On 37th minute Aluko earns a yellow card after a foul which prevented another breakaway, probably learning a lesson from Quinn.

If City needed a reminder this game was not going to be easy to win it came in the guise of Ulloa again just before half-time. In the 45th +2 minutes the Argentine had a fantastic chance to put the tie beyond the Tigers. He got his head on a Buckley cross and although he was in the centre of goal, somehow the ball went wide to the left. A few seconds later it was halftime.

You could well argue that City were unlucky to be behind at the break after hitting the bar twice, and having 54% of possession but in reality we had delivered no shots on target to their 1, and 6 total shots to Brighton’s 8. Only on corners had we come out best 1 to their 0; clutching/straws and all that.

No changes at half time but as the game wore on you could feel the need for a change and Boyd + Fryatt must have been most on City supporters minds.

City fought for the cause all second half as the game opened up, but Brighton  looked just as dangerous as well, though decent chances were rare. Fryatt and Boyd did come on in the 66th and 68th minute for Quinn and the struggling Faye and we suddenly had a truly open game in which City looked the better for it.

Hull pressed hard for the leveler and it came late on when you wondered if it would actually happen. Sagbo got a cross from Aluko and struck a perfect shot under the leg of Brezovan and into the net. It was a good strikers goal, I have always liked the footballing look of this piece of strong black granite.

In the 90th minute Keith Edwards had a chance to win it from close range but it was blocked and City might have stole it as well; Koren had a decent chance from an Aluko pass but saw it blocked and then with seconds to go Meyler headed a Huddlestone cross which was also blocked.

Post match,Steve Bruce said:

“To win the a cup game you often have to have a bit of luck and we hit the bar twice with two wonderful chances, then we could have won it at the end,” said Bruce.

“But we are still in the hat and that’s what is important, there’s still all to play for.”

He added: “It is never easy to come play against Brighton because they are a good side, with good players and they made it difficult for us.

“Too many individuals didn’t play well for us. We’ve not played well, but we rolled up our sleeves and we are still in the hat. That’s a huge positive, as is the fact Sagbo, Aluko, Koren and Quinn all got game time and we’ve picked up no injuries.”

So a replay, and this morning we hear the bad news. For all the wrong reasons we have to play next Monday evening after the big game in Cardiff just two days before. Utter, utter, idiocy………..but it’s all the magic of the cup no doubt.

Hull City: McGregor; Elmohamady, Faye, Davies, Figueroa; Koren, Livermore, Huddlestone, Quinn; Sagbo, Aluko. Bench: Bruce, Chester, Meyler, Fryatt, Boyd, Harper, Henderson.

Brighton: Brezovan, Calderon, Chiksen, Ince, Dunk, Upson, Andrews, Forster-Caskey, Ulloa, Buckley, Lua Lua. Bench: Bruno, Greer, Rodriguez Sanchez, Ankergren, D. Lopez, Obika, March.

Referee was Lee Probert. Attendance 21,352.

Sagbo goal v Brighton away

Opta Stats………

FT stats Brighton v Hull

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »