Ahead of our mid-week fixture against Hull City, we asked the group No To Hull Tigers to take on our questions. They were only too pleased to do so. We thank Charlotte Ball for taking time out from what we can appreciate is a very busy schedule.
Q. How has your season gone so far in your view?
I think overall our season has gone well so far. We have made the KC a tough place for teams to come and play and defended really well. Although being on the losing side all but once we have put in some good performances against the top sides. Our home win against Liverpool was a memorable victory and a day I won’t forget in a hurry.
Q. Our former manager Steve Bruce has done a great job for you hasn’t he?
Yes, Brucie is doing a fantastic job. It’s a real privilege to have Steve as our manager. He has made some inspired signings, nurtured a fantastic togetherness and team spirit amongst the lads and handles the media impeccably.
Q. Where do you think you will finish this season in both the league and cup competitions?
I think realistically we are going to be in the relegation dogfight along with several other teams, but I am confident we can finish the season in 17th place or higher and stay in the Premier League.
Having just been drawn away to your close rivals Brighton in the FA Cup, we now have a great chance to progress to the sixth round of the competition. Make no mistake it will be a tough game but having dodged the likes of Man City and Chelsea we have to capitalise and look to progress.
Q. The majority of football fans empathise with you on the owners ludicrous decision to change the name of the club. Have you been surprised by the amount of support that you have received from the football community?
Yes, it has been really fantastic to see the wider football family publicly backing the CTWD campaign. We have seen banners displayed by fans in Germany and Holland, letters of support from around the globe and had requests for ‘No To Hull Tigers’ badges come in from everywhere from Indonesia to Brazil. Most heartening though is the fact that so many fans of English clubs from all divisions, including rival Premier League clubs, have shown their support by wearing badges, signing our giant flag, writing to the FA and joining in with the ‘City Till We Die’ song 19:04 minutes into every match (sung at this time to represent 1904 – the year Hull City AFC was formed).
Football fans are the life and soul of a club.
I firmly believe that the views of the fans should always be sought when looking to change things at a club. Owners, sponsors, players and managers come and go. Fans are for life and they, like the clubs colours, name and location should never be compromised.
It would be great and very much appreciated if Palace fans check out www.citytillwedie.com and our social media and get involved in supporting our campaign.
Q. The big signings of Jelavic and Long were perhaps a surprise to those looking in. What do you expect from them and what other signings are you expecting or hope to be made during the transfer window?
I think both have the potential to get the goals we need to maintain our Premier League status beyond this season. It was a surprise to me that we signed them both – I would have expected to see just one arrive. It will be interesting to see if they can both play together and how well they settle in.
It wouldn’t surprise me if there was one more signing before the window shuts. Jean Beausejour is a name we have been linked with and a winger would be a useful addition to the squad. But overall I am happy with the personnel we have.
Q. Which Hull player has impressed and which has disappointed this season?
This is a hard question because there have been several players who have really impressed me so far. Curtis Davies has been immense, consistent and commanding – a great captain with a fantastic attitude.
The midfield pair of Livermore and Huddlestone have been a revelation and stepped the team up to that next level with their class. Allan McGregor has proved he is a quality keeper and has pleasantly surprised me with his performances and has pulled off some top class saves. Sagbo is also worth a mention, he has great strength on the ball and is not afraid of hard work and mixing it with anyone who crosses his path!
I was disappointed that Danny Graham didn’t get a few more goals – I thought once he scored at Swansea that he might kick on and get a few more. Maynor Figueroa is a player I admire but he has hit a disappointing patch of form in the last few weeks.
Q. Who should Palace be wary of in the game on Saturday?
Huddlestone can boss the midfield when he is in that mood and Palace should be wary of his passing range and command of the game. Elmohamady has got a great cross on him and if you let him beat his man and put in a good ball, I hope that Jelavic or Long will convert one or two sooner or later. Curtis Davies is always a goal threat from corners – he is due another header very soon!
Q. Who do you think Hull should be concerned about from the Palace line up?
Well Barry Bannan popped up with a late goal to steal the points at the KC in November, assisted by Cameron Jerome – so I would be keeping an eye on both of them. It would be just like ex Tiger Damien Delaney to pop up with a goal against us so we will have to watch him too!
Q. How do you think Palace have fared so far in their return to the Premier League?
After a disappointing start I think Palace have done okay and are just three points behind us now. I think we will both be involved in an almighty scrap to survive at the end of the season but I think that we will both live to see another season (hopefully)!
Q. Your prediction for this one?
Palace 1-2 City
I am going to stick my neck out and be optimistic here and go for an away win. Don’t get me wrong, it wouldn’t surprise me if Palace beat us and it will be a very tough ask but we really need to start picking up points on the road.
Q. And finally, tell us a little about yourselves and anything that you would like to promote.
I am involved in the running of Tigerlink – a Hull City supporters group promoting the football club and the area of Hull and East Yorkshire.
We produce StadiumLINK guides to all Premier League grounds to help all travelling fans get the most out of their away-days. You can find us on Facebook and Twitter but if you want to contact us directly just drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am also involved in the City Till We Die group – campaigning to protect the historic identity of Hull City AFC. We have a wesbite, Facebook page and Twitter account but you can contact us directly by email at NoToHullTigers@citytillwedie.com.